American Prairie Reserve for Nat Geo

I wrote in February 2020 about an audacious plan to return Montana ranchland to the wild, pulling down fences and reintroducing buffalo. The American Prairie Reserve is seeking to create a massive protected area in central Montana and repopulate it with the wildlife of bygone days. The group is using private money to patch together 3.2 million acres, or 5,000 square miles, of private and public grassland along the Missouri River, acquiring ranches from “willing sellers” at market prices, removing the cattle that grazed the land, stocking it with bison, tearing out interior fences, restoring native vegetation, and creating the conditions in which the region’s lost wildlife could return and thrive. It is an ambitious, and also very contentious, vision of the region’s future. Read the piece in National Geographic Magazine, February 2020