While American Prairie is in the business of large-scale conservation, one of our goals is to ensure that the land remains productive in a way that clearly contributes measurable benefits to the local economy.
Agriculture is the dominant industry in Central Montana, but visitors to the prairie stimulate local economic activity by contracting local guides, buying food, fuel and supplies, and patronizing local businesses like lodging and restaurants.
As an organization, we prioritize spending in the region where we own property. American Prairie’s spending includes, but is not limited to: land purchase, real estate taxes, wages paid to local staff, equipment and supply purchases, visitation and recreation activities, and payments to local contractors.
We spend locally.
Over the course of a four-year period from 2018–2021, we spent nearly $13 million in local communities for management expenses such as utilities, supplies, repairs, vehicles, and equipment.
We pay property taxes.
American Prairie pays all property taxes, even though our nonprofit status grants eligibility for an exemption of a small portion of the property we own. Between 2018–2021, we paid more than $515,000 in taxes (real, personal, use, etc.) to the counties where we own property.
We create jobs.
As American Prairie grows, our staff size goes up. We offer new permanent and seasonal employment opportunities for local residents and attract new workers and families to the region. American Prairie currently employs nearly 50 people, many of whom live on the prairie and in surrounding communities.
We support local organizations.
We allocate an annual budget for giving to work that enriches our communities. We also offer donations of bison harvests, lodging stays, and other unique opportunities for local groups as a way to assist in fundraising and to encourage more Montanans to visit and enjoy American Prairie.