Prairie Neighbors

We value and respect our neighbors, and strive to make positive contributions in the communities where we live. Please say hello if you run into any of our staff.

We share an appreciation for this land and the stewards who have preceded and now work alongside us. Our goal is to work for our shared values, and toward our common mission of conserving the place we all love. We invite you to reach out if you live near an American Prairie property and are interested in learning more about the Wild Sky ranching program, or leasing from us. And check out Field Notes, our Montana newsletter, for the latest on what’s happening on the ground.

Prairie Neighbor Resources

Field Team Contacts

Dan works as the safety manager for American Prairie and also assists with wildlife restoration projects. He received a BS in resource management from University of Montana Western, and is a trained facilitator in the fields of operational safety leadership and risk management. He is also a commercial rated pilot with the majority of his flight experience gained from flying small bush planes in Alaska, and he’s a member of the aircraft owners and pilot association.

Before joining American Prairie, Dan worked for 8 years as a non-game biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department where he worked mainly with wildlife restoration projects involving trumpeter swans, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and black footed ferrets. He also worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the National Bison Range in western Montana and worked as a wilderness manager and pilot for over 20 years in Alaska.

Dan is a fourth-generation Montanan. His great-grandparents homesteaded along the front range, and he and his wife are currently building a house near the old family homestead. He was fortunate to be raised in a strong conservation-minded family which pointed him in the direction of a conservation career in order to give back. He grew up fishing and hunting the remote streams and lonely fields of Montana and continues to do so at every opportunity.

I am excited and honored to be a part of such an innovative and large-scale conservation project which will ensure biodiversity and public access in north-central Montana for generations down the road.

Dr. Daniel Kinka is American Prairie's Wildlife Restoration Manager. His primary responsibilities include restoring and monitoring wildlife on the Reserve and managing the wildlife-friendly ranching program "Wild Sky." He also acts as a liaison to scientists conducting research at American Prairie, other non-governmental organizations, agencies, and other external entities. He joined American Prairie in 2018, shortly after completing his doctoral degree in ecology at Utah State University. In graduate school, he studied the use of livestock guardian dogs to promote coexistence between large North American carnivores and ranchers. Originally from Florida and the Washington DC area, Daniel has enjoyed living “out west” since 2010. In addition to restoration ecology and applied science, Daniel harbors a deep passion for science communication, having worked as a science reporter for Utah Public Radio, publishing in High Country News, and serving as a National Geographic Society Fellow.

I was trained as a researcher and an academic. That is a noble career and we rely heavily on the work of research scientists to guide our restoration work at American Prairie Reserve. But, I consider it an honor and a privilege to head out everyday and do the hard and complicated work of actually restoring an ecosystem. I prefer getting my hands dirty, figuratively and literally.

Ellen’s primary responsibilities focus on habitat restoration, currently in a part-time capacity. Before joining the Field team, Ellen was a graduate research assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). She is originally from St. John, Washington and earned a B.S. from Washington State University in Natural Resource Sciences, minoring in Rangeland Ecology and Management. She graduated from UNL in December 2016 with an M.S. in Agronomy, specializing in Range and Forage Sciences. Ellen enjoys living on the Reserve and is most excited about working on a landscape-scale conservation project that is available to the public for their use and enjoyment.

There’s something about my upbringing on the family farm and my education in range science that just comes together beautifully to restore grasslands. It’s different mix of people and better than I ever imagined.

Garrett oversees and directs all aspects of American Prairie's land acquisition program, advancing our goal of assembling the largest nature reserve in the contiguous United States.

He received his undergraduate, graduate, and law degrees from the University of Montana, where he focused on environmental and natural resource law and policy, and was named to the inaugural class of Wyss Scholars. Garrett has spent his career in the non-profit conservation space, working to protect land, water, and wildlife at the national, regional, and local scale. In his spare time he enjoys reading and running, cycling and snowboarding, and exploring the road less traveled with his wife, kids, and dogs.

It's a singular honor to participate in such an ambitious project, one working to write the next chapter in America's public land legacy. I'm humbled to play a role in our effort to open a wild western prairie ecosystem for everyone to experience and enjoy.

Henry's role at American Prairie is to provide support for the bison restoration program. This involves fencing, habitat restoration, and bison herd monitoring and handling. Before joining American Prairie in 2018, he worked various seasonal natural resources jobs. He holds an associates degree in Wildlife Resources Management. Growing up, Henry always imagined himself exploring wild places under big skies and found the prairies of north-central Montana the perfect place for just that.

Working under skies this big and in a landscape this vast, I understand how valuable restoration and rewilding of a grassland ecosystem is. To be part of this project that works towards making this incredible ecosystem whole is extraordinarily fulfilling.

Katy supports operations of the Wild Sky Program and executes field projects on Wild Sky Ranches, including the Cameras for Conservation Program. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT. Before joining American Prairie in 2019, Katy was a field technician for various research projects that focused on grassland ecosystems in Montana. She also loves spreading a passion for the outdoors and has led student trips into the Beartooth Mountains and through the Upper Missouri Wild and Scenic River. Growing up in North Dakota, she loved visiting the western badlands. It's where she gained an appreciation for our public lands and prairie wildlife.

I have a strong connection to our Central Montana landscape. It holds many special memories for me. Working to protect this area so that generations to come have the opportunity for the same experiences is so rewarding.

Lars’ primary responsibilities include general maintenance and habitat restoration on American Prairie lands. Before joining American Prairie, he was the interim manager at the University of Nebraska’s Barta Brothers Ranch. He is originally from Chappell, Nebraska and received his education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he earned an MS in Agronomy specializing in Range and Forage Science and BS degrees in Rangeland Ecosystems and Fisheries & Wildlife. He is a member of the Society for Range Management and The Wildlife Society. Lars began working for American Prairie in 2013 and is excited to be part of a project that is effecting change over an entire landscape.

American Prairie has the ability to enrich visitation for a wide range of people and interests.

Linda is part of the Field team, and manages vehicles, buildings, and equipment—as well as people—to keep everything and everyone in good working order. She gets a lot of satisfaction from helping staff get the things they need in order to do their jobs well. She holds a BS in animal science from University of Illinois, an MS in outdoor education center management from Antioch University, and an MS in experiential education theory from Mankato State University.

Linda grew up working hard on a family farm in Illinois, where her family raised cows and grew corn and hay. She had a long career as a park ranger with the National Park Service, working in Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. In the middle of her park ranger years she spent 2 years on a ranch in Texas with longhorns and African wildlife.

She’s lived in remote places in Alaska and Texas, so she enjoys the solitude and weather out on the Reserve. She loves volunteering for local veterinarians. The skills she has learned help her take good care of her sled dogs, bird dogs, and search & rescue dog.

I've been watching for an opportunity to join the APR Reserve team for 5 years and am thrilled to be working here. I love that the mission of our organization is going to provide healthy air, healthy water, and healthy soil for many generations of people, plants and wildlife.

Pedro works with the bison team in the field leading the implementation of everyday actions to reach the goals of American Prairie. He holds an MSc in Natural Resources Management and a BSc in Ecology from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Mexico. He is specialized in range and wildlife management and conservation and is certified in Holistic Management by the Savory Institute. He is an active member of the low stress stockmanship and regenerative grazing communities. Before joining American Prairie in 2022, Pedro was the ranch manager for Chapman Livestock LLC in northwestern Oklahoma. Prior to that he managed Rancho El Uno in Chihuahua, where he was also the manager of Mexico’s bison conservation herd. Growing up in northern Mexico and having worked in the Chihuahuan Desert for over 20 years, Pedro is hooked on wide open spaces, wildlife conservation and the culture and life on the range.

For me, working in American Prairie is about untaming the West and helping the buffalo and nature to do their job. That sounds really good to me.

Scott’s primary role is leading American Prairie’s bison restoration program; including working with neighbors, agencies and partners around bison and setting long-term goals and strategic direction for the program. Scott moved to Montana in 2015 to join American Prairie. Prior to joining American Prairie, he was a Park Ranger for Sioux County Conservation in his home state of Iowa and earned his B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from South Dakota State University. Since a young age Scott has imagined intact prairies teeming with wildlife and living and working on the prairies of Montana offer just that.

Having intact ecosystems as a place for people to imagine and visit is an important part of the human experience. It is exciting to lead efforts to bring back a missing piece of that experience, the bison. Seeing pieces of an ecosystem come back together is so rewarding, and knowing it will be preserved in perpetuity is fulfilling.

Travis’ role at American Prairie consists of maintaining our land infrastructures and our growing number of buildings and vehicles, while actively ensuring that the organization’s monthly maintenance goals are met. Travis holds a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Rio Grande. Prior to moving to Montana, Travis spent 9 years in the construction field and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role as Maintenance Operations Specialist. Originally from Ansonia, Ohio, Travis’ wanderlust led him to Montana in search of adventure and the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than himself. Travis has planted his roots in the prairie and treasures the sense of purpose and freedom that he has found here.

As the world grows more complicated and busy, the peace and tranquility of the prairie grow ever more important.