Since approximately 50 percent of native grasslands have been lost in the Prairie Pothole Region of Montana, preservation of native prairie is extremely important. Visitors to the refuge can experience the vastness of the "big sky" and relatively undisturbed prairie landscapes. Native prairie areas are important to grassland-dependent species such as northern pintail, burrowing owl, chesnut-collared longspur, and Sprague's pipit as well as other species of concern. These wildlife species favor large expanses of native prairie and are negatively impacted by its development and conservation to agricultural uses.
Large, intact native prairie communities can still be found throughout the refuge complex.
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Sharp-tailed Grouse mating season occurs from late March to late May. More than 60 birds have been seen on the main refuge lek participating in their mating dance.