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The American Prairie Reserve is probably the most abhorrent organization to ever hit the scene in central Montana. They stormed into Montana with a stated goal to create a wildlife reserve larger than Yellowstone Park and came with millionaire donors and environmental crusaders but found little enthusiasm for their plan amongst regional landowners and their elected officials.

It appears APR’s revised strategy is to shift gears, not direction, and focus more energy and money on a major publicity blitz to improve its image particularly amongst Montana legislators. To do that, APR is inviting a select number of sympathetic Montana legislators to “tour APR’s holdings, see free market conservation, hunt some birds and help APR be a better neighbor by offering insight into how they can improve their community involvement.”

Not surprising, the point of contact for APR’s legislative tour is Ben Lamb who is affiliated with the Montana Wildlife Federation.

The tea leaves seem to indicate APR has likely hired some high powered public relations firm to help them polish their image and add a political dimension to help stuff their reserve agenda into central Montana. And, it would not be surprising to see increased promotional materials coming out from the Smithsonian Institute, National Geographic, and a series of TV promotions with endorsements from Hollywood celebrities and the like.

So, what we have on the horizon is a battle royal brewing that pits money, power and influence against a determined body of opposition known as the “Save the Cowboy, Stop APR” initiative that has definitely gotten APR’s and its donor’s attention.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

Ron Poertner

Winifred

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