EcoFlight flew with The Wilderness Society over the Bitter Creek Wilderness Study Area in Montana. The last fragments of Montana's native prairie spread out along the northern U.S. border, just south of Canada's Grasslands National Park. This mix of badland breaks, rolling plateaus and stark canyons includes a blend of public and private land, and an established history of multiple use. The nearly 60,000 acre Bitter Creek Wilderness Study Area (WSA) provides important habitat for big game, wildflowers, key pollinating insects and an array of birdlife. Within this rare landscape, energy production and prairie conservation coexist. The WSA is grazed by local ranchers, while other nearby BLM and private land is the scene of ongoing natural gas development.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is currently preparing a Resource Management Plan, which will guide conservation efforts on the northern prairie for the next 20 years.