Redoubt to Redoubt:
Bison and Bikers
by Shari Dovale
We recently took a cross country trip from the American Redoubt to the Appalachian Redoubt. We did this for family, however, we had the opportunity to get to know several people and areas that you might find interesting. We will present them to you in a series of articles.
On the first leg of the trip, we ran across a group of people in eastern Montana. Though they were on vacation they noticed my bumper sticker mentioning the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This prompted much discussion on the issues facing eastern Montana and the American Prairie Reserve (APR) and their Bison restoration project.
Today, American Prairie Reserve is a freestanding Montana-based nonprofit that started to assemble land in 2004. Our main focus is to purchase and permanently hold title to private lands that glue together a vast mosaic of existing public lands so that the region is managed thoughtfully and collaboratively with state and federal agencies for wildlife conservation and public access.
Since 2001, American Prairie has raised more than $100 million with a goal of creating a nearly 5,500 square-mile reserve — an area larger than Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks combined.
APR is attempting the restoration of Bison in the northern plains of Montana.
American Prairie Reserve controls private properties tied to 18 BLM grazing allotments. The nonprofit group is seeking permission to: change the class of livestock from cattle to bison; allow for season-long grazing; fortify existing external boundary fences by replacing the second strand from the top with an electrified wire; and remove interior fences.
This is certainly a group worth watching.
From there we headed to Sturgis, SD for the 78th Annual Motorcycle Rally. Though we have been to Daytona during ‘Bike Week’ we have not had the opportunity to see Sturgis.
The Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club started in 1936, with an official American Motorcycle Association (AMA) charter in 1937. AMA began promoting the racing events; which started the now famous Rally in Sturgis on August 14, 1938.
During the Sturgis Rally, they hold 12 events, including: motocross racing, a 1/2 mile race, hill climbs, road tours and short track racing. There were over 6000 spectators and hundreds of racers during the week of the Rally. As you can see, the Sturgis Rally has grown quite a bit since the first rally!
Something I learned on our travels: The price of gas goes down the further east you travel, as well as the speed limits.
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