When Lewis and Clark made their voyage across what would later become Montana, they saw a relatively untouched expanse of land that was home to bison, deer, coyotes and a panoply of native creatures. Now, the American Prairie Reserve is hoping to recreate an ecosystem with that level of biodiversity.
The goal of the American Prairie Reserve is to cultivate a grassland reserve of 3 million acres that could function as "a wildlife spectacle that rivals the Serengeti."
With funding from high-profile, wealthy donors like billionaire candy heirs Forrest Mars Jr. and his brother John, and Susan Packard Orr, daughter of the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, the organization has been buying up properties in Montana to form the largest contiguous national park in the lower 48. The area of land is about the size of the state of Connecticut and surpasses Yellowstone by one million acres. Since its inception, it has raised $60 million. The wildlife reserve would be for public enjoyment.
Pete Geddes, is a managing director of the American Prairie Reserve, and he explains why preserving these lands would greatly add to the nation's rich and robust collection of national parks.
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