Miles City, MT
Sanctuary Stewards: Terrence Fox & Family
Our family owns, or has under contract and operates about 20,000 acres of plains, hills and mountainous semi-arid land in southeast Montana between the Yellowstone and Powder Rivers. We call this land Buck Mountain Ranch. This beautiful country ranges from an elevation of 2,500 to 3,400 feet. The upper elevations, above 2,800 feet, support large stands of yellow pine and juniper. This high plains paradise was used as range land. Now the pristine wilderness is managed for the benefit of the abundant flora and fauna found thereon.
According to the geologic record, Buck Mountain has been in place for about 55 million years. It will be here in ever-changing form for many million more years. It is “privately owned”, but to discuss ownership is silly since, at best, our family is a short-term caretaker of this wonderful scape of life. Since the initial land purchase in early 1994, we have labored to return the land to its native flora and fauna. In the process we have spread native seeds each year and planted thousands of trees and shrubs. We have repaired and expanded dozens of ponds, dams, and dikes to retain water in this land of sparse precipitation.
Many have encouraged us to cut the mature cedars and pines because of the strong commercial demand. Trees are not renewable in our lifetime. They will not be harvested. One resource we have in seemingly unlimited quantity is Echinacea angustifolia – purple coneflower, thousands of acres of virgin stands that have never been plundered. Our plan is to sustainably cultivate and harvest plants that we have encouraged. There currently are many medicinal plants growing naturally on this land: hawthorn, arnica, wild rose, yucca, yellow dock, juniper, yarrow, grindelia, echinacea and pasqueflower have been identified and are plentiful. R&D efforts are being made to cultivate Arnica (latifolia and cordifolia), Pasqueflower (Anemone patens) and Echinacea angustifolia. Other species may be added in the future.
Our family has decided to make two of the most most diverse and beautiful sections of the ranch (approx. 1,300 acres) a UpS Botanical Sanctuary. By being a part of this movement we will meet and associate with like-minded persons all to our benefit. It is the intent of the Fox Family to protect and expand the abundant flora on our property.