11 – 17 September 2023

Montana

Restoring
the American West

Rewilding the Northern Great Plains with Sean Gerrity in the American Prairie.

Retrace the natural history and heritage of the American West to experience these great plains as they once were, and be part of a vision to create the largest wildlife reserve in the continental United States.

These vast grasslands were once a prosperous habitat for bison, elk, wolves and bears to roam freely, a wild place discovered and documented by nineteenth century artists and explorers.

What to expect

The journey begins with a voyage by canoe down a Wild and Scenic section of the Missouri River through stunning white cliffs, canyons and sandstone rock formations etched with ancient petroglyphs. In retracing the expedition of explorers Lewis and Clark, you will capture a sense of this vast landscape and the endemic birds and wildlife that once inhabited it, and will inhabit it again. Meeting with indigenous leaders whose ancestors lived alongside the bison, offers a perspective into a world where humankind and nature happily coexisted. From your private camp in the midst of the prairie, you will track and monitor the bison at the end of their rutat the height of calving season. In spending time with the local scientists and project leaders, at the prairie dog towns, Prairie Union Schoolhouse and Enrico Education and Science Centre, you will gain firsthand insight into the scope and beauty of this landscape and the possibilities for biodiversity restoration.

Conservation Impact

In 1999, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) published Ecoregional Planning in the northern Great Plains Steppe, which, for the first time, pinpointed specific, critical areas of the northern Great Plains that were the most viable for conserving the existing diversity of plants and animals. In June 2001, The Prairie Foundation was officially formed and, for its first five years, WWF provided on-the-ground scientific support. This included conducting inventories (plants, streams, birds and wildlife) and wildlife migration studies, monitoring and protecting prairie dogs, reintroducing bison, restoring streams and riparian areas. Today, American Prairie is a freestanding Montana-based nonprofit with the specific mission to piece together land which will form a large-scale 3.2million acre reserve. Their approach is three-fold; acquire habitat, restore wildlife, and share the place with people.

Your Host

Sean Gerrity is the founder and retired CEO of American Prairie Reserve, currently serving on the National Board of Directors.

YOUR HOST

MEET YOUR HOST:
SEAN GERRITY

Ex Silicon Valley entrepreneur
National Geographic Explorer
Montana born-and-bred

Portrait of Sean Gerrity

Sean Gerrity is the founder and retired CEO of American Prairie Reserve, currently serving on the National Board of Directors.

In 2001, he joined conservation biologist Dr. Curt Freese, to embark on a mission to assemble a 3.2-million-acre landscape and reintroduce all the wildlife species that once inhabited Montana’s northern Great Plains. It is an ambitious mission – to create the largest wildlife complex ever assembled in the continental United States.

Sean was born in Great Falls Montana and graduated from Montana State University. He lives with his wife Kayla in Bozeman Montana. Sean co-founded Catalyst Consulting, a successful Silicon Valley business before turning his skills to creating a nature-based legacy on a monumental scale.

A GLOBALLY UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE
ON CONSERVATION IN ACTION

DETAILS

PRICE ON REQUEST 
Based on two people sharing
Small group experience
Limited to ten guests

INCLUDED

CANOE EXPEDITION DOWN THE MISSOURI RIVER
FULL-BOARD THROUGHOUT
PRIVATE CAMP ON THE RESERVE
DAILY HIKES
JEEP EXPLORATIONS
ENGAGEMENT WITH WILDLIFE SCIENTISTS
AIRPORT TRANSFERS

DATES

11 – 17 SEPTEMBER 2023
LIMITED AVAILABILITY
TRAVEL SUBJECT TO APPLICATION

At a Glance:
American Prairie

3,200,000

contiguous acres of uncultivated prairie

404

Prairie Bison donated to tribal and conservation herds

Less than 5%

of the world’s prairies have been permanently conserved

OUR FOCUS - THE American Prairie

In 1999, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) published Ecoregional Planning in the northern Great Plains Steppe, which, for the first time, pinpointed specific, critical areas of the northern Great Plains that were the most viable for conserving the existing diversity of plants and animals. In June 2001, The Prairie Foundation was officially formed and, for its first five years, WWF provided on-the-ground scientific support. This included conducting inventories (plants, streams, birds and wildlife) and wildlife migration studies, monitoring and protecting prairie dogs, reintroducing bison, restoring streams and riparian areas. Today, American Prairie is a freestanding Montana-based nonprofit with the specific mission to piece together land which will form a large-scale 3.2million acre reserve. Their approach is three-fold; acquire habitat, restore wildlife, and share the place with people.

The Field Report