WWF-US works in countries as diverse as Namibia and Nepal and Mexico, but our roots are firmly planted in the United States. In our first year, three of the five grants made by our Board of Directors supported domestic projects. More than 50 years later, our in-country work remains an anchor of our conservation portfolio.
WWF is successfully maneuvering some of the roughest of landscapes and most complex of cultures, making significant gains toward buffalo conservation in the Northern Great Plains. Working among a culture thick with pride, history and sacrifice, WWF has found its role guiding this dream of bison restoration into reality.
A prescribed burn is part of WWF’s long-term approach to maintaining healthy habitats and human communities in the Northern Great Plains region, supporting native species expansion and reducing encroachment by invasive species.
The communities and wildlife of the Northern Great Plains have not suffered the fate of the Dust Bowl on the Southern Plains. But threats loom—runaway oil and gas development, a changing climate, and agriculture policies that incentivize conversion of grasslands and wetlands to crops, regardless of expectations for crop success.
In March 2012, 71 new bison calves were released on the American Prairie Reserve (APR)—a WWF partner in the Northern Montana Prairie. The young calves are descendents of the last bison that called this area home more than 100 years ago.