Conservation biologists have determined that a mixed-grass prairie would need to be approximately 5,000 square miles (roughly 3.2 million acres) in order to be a fully functioning ecosystem. A landscape of this size would be able to support the full complement of native prairie biodiversity, including seasonal migrations, and provide room to endure episodic localized natural phenomena like fire, disease and winter ice events. The Reserve is already a living laboratory for numerous long-term science studies that will help shape its management and habitat restoration efforts, including plains bison reintroduction. In 2012, there will be more than 200 bison roaming American Prairie Reserve.
Courtesy: American Prairie Foundation
In addition to acquiring habitat for the Reserve and wildlife restoration, American Prairie Foundation is dedicated to public access and educational outreach. Open to the public for a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, horseback riding and hunting, APF is actively working to make the prairie a place that inspires and welcomes all types of visitors. This is a huge undertaking. But with support from individuals and organizations like Northern Lights, the dream of a protected American Prairie can become a reality, one piece at a time. With this donation, Northern Lights is helping to construct a trail system that will allow people to explore the Reserve by foot or by bike. For more information or to make a donation, please click here.