“Real freedom lies in wilderness, not in civilization”
The purposes of the Colorado Prairie Initiative are to aid the restoration of the prairie ecosystems across the eastern portion of Colorado; to protect and conserve native species of wild prairie plants and animals; to make the prairie ecosystem more accessible to the public; to begin the long and difficult task of restoring the grasslands to their former vitality and beauty; and to use all legal means to carry out these objectives.
The mighty grasslands once stretched across the middle of the country, from Mexico to Canada. Home to untold millions of bison, elk, and antelope, the seemingly boundless prairies came to symbolize the intrepid spirit of the new America. But politics and agriculture devastated much of the great plains, as the bison herds were wiped out, cattle were introduced to and overgrazed the rangelands, native grasses were plowed under to make way for crops, and aquifers were depleted to irrigate dry climates not suited for farming. Eventually the Great Depression necessitated the buy back of some of the heartland of America by the government, which led to the creation of the National Grasslands.
But these National Grasslands failed to materialize as the bastion of prairie restoration they could have been. It is beyond debate that the rangelands are in poor condition, and private landowners and not-for-profit organizations have emerged as playing an ever larger role in their recovery.
Colorado Prairie Initiative exists to aid that recovery effort within Colorado, in the hopes that future generations may be able to enjoy what remains of the American prairies. Perhaps one day the thundering of countless bison hooves will shake the Heartland once again. Prairie life provides the best of what nature has to offer: power, resilience, unspeakable beauty. Let’s ensure we treat it such that future generations will judge us favorably.
– To restore Colorado’s great prairies and grasslands
– To foster the creation of healthy soils and robust vegetative communities
– To return wild bison herds to Colorado’s public land
– To generate community support for prairie restoration
– To organize volunteer efforts to conserve and restore prairie lands
– To cooperate with local governments and other non-profit organizations to coordinate prairie conservation and restoration efforts