Wildlife-Friendly Ranching

Why wildlife-friendly?

American Prairie Reserve is working to restore and conserve an abundance of extraordinarily diverse wildlife to Montana's Northern Great Plains, an area with a wildlife history like nowhere else. American Prairie Reserve and surroundings, like other great parks around the globe, will one day be revered by people around the world for providing an exceptional nature experience. The goal is to restore the ecological conditions that are important for a large ecosystem endowed with the diversity of life the region once hosted. Humans are, of course, part of this system.



Working Together to Make a Difference

Private landowners in the region make land management decisions that impact ecological conditions both on and off of the Reserve. Wild Sky’s wildlife-friendly protocols are based on the Freese Scale, which is a framework used by American Prairie Reserve to help biodiversity-focused land managers evaluate their properties and track progress toward a fully functioning prairie ecosystem. 

The Freese Scale for Grassland Restoration – which was developed by some of APR’s founding scientists – evaluates and scores different ecological drivers such as hydrology and vegetation. This tool can be used by land managers to achieve a balance between agricultural production and biodiversity. In addition to scoring Wild Sky ranches, Reserve staff and partners work together to score American Prairie Reserve’s land units according to the same scale. American Prairie Reserve records and tracks how management decisions impact the land, and also identifies areas or processes that need attention.




The Freese Scale serves as a common language between American Prairie Reserve, Wild Sky, and our partners as we encourage a wildlife-oriented land management approach. 

Wildlife-friendly camera trap image