Community organizations refer to a group of individuals, usually of a common local community that comes together to support various civil activities that are not-for-profit. Ordinarily, these groups fund their own activities and are usually a result of bigger non-governmental organizations, with some larger than others, and with varying degrees of administration. Of interest in the present paper is the American Prairie Reserve, an independent Non-profit NGO, whose operational goal is to turn three-million acre piece of land in Northern Montana into a wildlife-conservation area.
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According to the company’s website, the American Prairie Reserve focuses on accumulating and managing private lands, large enough to support a fully-fledged wildlife reserve that is prairie-based. The organization was created following a publication by the Nature Conservancy (TNC), which detailed the idea that a project to restore Montana’s wildlife would best be done on the northern plains. This idea was bought by the World Wide Fund For Nature, which actively began conservation efforts that are still in effect to date. The Northern Plains Conservation Network also supported the proposed idea, and together, the two organizations brought on board other community organizations that were already working towards the objective of conservation, and whose mission included forming a prairie reserve.
The impact of this objective to the constituency is very far-reaching, and the first one is public enjoyment of the natural scenery of the wild. The organization focuses on offering to the public a range of services for recreational purposes, which include hunting, bird watching, hiking, camping, biking, and riding, among other activities. The objective is in line with the constituency’s desires as it provided economic advantage, as well as social and political advantage to the community at large, at a voluntary cost to the neighboring regions and the local community.
Additionally, the region was already registering a declining population at a rate of 10% per year, which made it easy for the organization to acquire the land needed for the project. Moreover, the government was already in possession of a huge tract of land in the region, which it was willing to offer for any project that was of direct benefit to the community, such as the APR program. Finally, since its formation in 2001, the community-based organization has been able to acquire some 275,000 acres of land from private owners, which is more than 50% of its targeted 500,000 acres.
The organization bought to this idea because the region has a very stable agricultural sector, which shall remain the top economic priority of the locals. However, it considered the possibility that the prairie-based wildlife conservation program would act as a complementary activity in the region, thereby providing the local people with additional employment opportunities. This would largely boost the living standards of the community, as well as place Montana higher in the global map.
In order to liaise with the government, the constituency, and other partners to facilitate the project, the organization put in more effort. Firstly, the organization has reached to individuals and organizations who believe in the organizational objective that is driving APR. The outreach involved informing the targeted groups of the benefits of environmental conservation and the need to create an alternative economic activity for the region of Montana that would supplement its farming activities. The community remained committed to the project as many people owned the land they targeted. As such, it was the duty of the organization to convince the landowners to sell their land to the organization or alternatively donate it out of the free will.
Looking at the success of the organization, it is rational to argue that it has been successful in its objective and initiative because of various reasons. Firstly, the organization has been able to motivate a large number of individuals within the region and in other places to support the initiative. This is true because, since its initiation, the program has received 90% of its more than $60 million funding from individuals who live in Montana across eight different countries of the world and from 45 other different states in the US. Additionally, the organization received 10% of its contributions from various organizations, with 20% of its total donors coming from the region of Montana.
Additionally, the organization has collaborated with other community-based organizations and government agencies, such as the federal government, as well as groups from non-governmental organizations that share its vision and objectives. These groups include the World Wildlife Fund, Montana Department of Fish, and National Geographic, among many others. Through the combined efforts of these groups, the organization has been able to raise publicity and reach out to more donors and gain media coverage. According to Matelich, the current chairperson of the organization, the APR project has done its organizational best to ensure that the vision is not imposed on those who do not want it. The chair reacted when some ranchers refused to sell their land to the CBO because of their familial attachment and other personal reasons.