Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2010


Great Plains Research 20 (Spring 2010): 71-84


Copyright 2010 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


More than three-quarters of the land in the Northern Great Plains is privately owned and less than 2% of the region is in public protected areas; therefore, sound private-land management is critical for restoring and conserving the region’s biodiversity. Although considerable progress has been made in recent years in fostering and assembling nature reserves on private lands in various regions of the world, this approach has received little attention in North America, including the Northern Great Plains. We review here recommendations, trends and issues related to private protected areas globally and in Canada and the United States. We then discuss socioeconomic and ecological conditions that deserve particular attention in creating private protected areas, which we prefer to call “private nature reserves,” in the Northern Great Plains. We conclude with proposed standards and guidelines for the establishment and recognition of private nature reserves in the region.