Together We Can Expand

Heartland Ranch Nature Preserve

Thank you for helping us reach our campaign goal last year for expanding Heartland Ranch Preserve. We can still use your help in accomplishing this acquistion – our largest ever!

The Southern Plains Land Trust (SPLT) aims to restore the American Serengeti. We are inspired by voices from the past. In 1843, acclaimed naturalist John James Audubon set out on a journey westward to experience the Great Plains of North America. He longed to visit the vast unsettled prairies and see for himself the herds of bison, packs of wolves, grizzly bears, elk, pronghorn, and other animals that he had heard fantastic stories about. Still, he was not prepared for the magnitude of wildlife that he witnessed.

In a letter to his wife, Audubon wrote,

In fact, it is impossible to describe or even conceive the vast multitudes of these animals that exist even now, and feed upon these ocean-like prairies.”

Today, our grasslands are among the most endangered ecosystems globally. We have already lost about 50% of the shortgrass prairie through conversion to other uses. Species that were once too numerous to count, such as bison, pronghorn, swift foxes, and prairie dogs – just to name a few – are forced to survive on a shrinking patchwork of remaining prairie.

But there is something we can do! Your support has helped to protect over 56,000 acres of shortgrass prairie in SPLT’s preserve network. Together, we added another 17,899 acres of native grassland, bringing Heartland Ranch Nature Preserve to almost 43,000 acres total.

A recent article in Science found that ancient grasslands are very difficult to restore once they have been converted to other uses. The extensive un-plowed, native grasslands and varied topography make southeast Colorado the perfect place to start restoring the American Serengeti.

To proceed swiftly, we relied on financing for this acquisition. Your gift can help us pay off that financing to continue expanding our network of prairie preserves,  where wildlife is given total refuge, and wild prairie abounds.

Heartland Ranch Nature Preserve

Previous Size:           24,774 acres

Added Area:     17,899 acres

Current size:         42,674 acres


Southern Plains Land Trust (SPLT)
PO Box 1016, Lamar, CO 81052


A special thanks to the SPLT photographers!

Check out the photographer here.