Only four places on Earth still contain vast, unplowed native grasslands: Siberia, Mongolia, Patagonia and the northern Great Plains.
Since 2001, American Prairie Reserve has worked in northeastern Montana to create the largest protected wildlife area in the continental United States. When complete, APR will be larger than Yellowstone National Park and contain many of the species present when Lewis and Clark first crossed the plains, including the nation's largest herd of free-roaming bison. Currently, the Reserve is home to native wildlife including bison, pronghorn, sage grouse, prairie dog, bald eagle and mountain lion.
In 2014, ASC and APR launched the Landmark adventure science project, a multi-year collaboration to collect key wildlife data, build a global constituency for this special ecosystem, and record the human experience of living on the Reserve in its early days.
ASC directs Landmark, recruiting and training volunteer crews, and managing the project database.
Crews live on the Reserve and collect data year-round, exploring the grasslands from the subzero weather of January to the heat of July and August.
The open-source database produced during the study will be used to manage and protect this wild landscape. The data will establish trends over time, highlight species using the area, and inform management decisions as the Reserve expands.
Join a Landmark survey crew
Landmark is an opportunity to participate in one of the most exciting American conservation projects since the founding of the national parks.
To help cover the Reserve's rugged terrain, ASC is recruiting motivated adventurers with excellent outdoor skills, interest or experience in field science, and the desire to spend two months under the big sky in one of the most wild and remote parts of the United States.
National Geographic documentary short on American Prairie Reserve
A deer captured mid-leap by a wildlife camera maintained by the Landmark survey crew
During the inaugural Landmark training, temperatures fell below -20F.