National Parks

American Prairie Reserve Announces the 'Ken Burns American Heritage' Prize

The documentary filmmaker is teaming up with the privately funded conservation group.


Famed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is joining forces with the American Prairie Reserve, a group with a plan to build the largest nature reserve in the continental United States through private funding. The Ken Burns American Heritage Prize will honor "artists, authors, conservationists, educators, filmmakers, historians and scientists whose body of work has advanced our collective understanding of the indomitable American spirit." The news comes just as PBS is set to re-air Burns' documentary series The National Parks: America's Best Idea.

Reason TV producer Zach Weismueller recently travelled to Montana to talk with those behind the American Prairie Reserve and find out how their economic model is changing the normally tense relationship between ranchers and conservationists. You can watch the video, which was originally released on March 24 of this year, above.

For more on Ken Burns, watch Reason TV's in-depth interview with American's best-known documentarian below.

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  1. Beefalo, yummy!

    1. The Prohibition interview is better.

    1. Here's an even-lower-budget parody

      I liked the 'expert'-stereotype they included in your example... who says =

      "What we see recurring, or re-occurring, if i may, the insistence, or assertion on the part of NASA that, "It", never happened, which i think is a round-about way of denying, or negating something, if indeed that is their intention, or intent."

      which is a very-PBS way of making simple shit sound thoughtful and intellectualish

      1. Pretty much. Another show ahead of its time.

      2. TEDx Talk on how to make a TED talk about absolutely nothing sound intellectual and profound

        Such skills, or techniques, if I may, demonstrate ... even prove ... that one may have, or pretend to have, absolutely to say, but yet thoroughly convince, even inspire, his audience with the profundity of nothing, or no thing.

        1. Such skills, or techniques, if I may, demonstrate ... even prove ... that one may have, or pretend to have, absolutely nothing to say, but yet thoroughly convince, even inspire, his audience with the profundity of nothing, or no thing.

    2. Man, if I could frame this I would.

      'Suitcase' Jefferson. And those astronaut suits superimposed on baseball uniforms? Genius.

    3. "Got laid that very night."

      So inspiring

    4. LMAO, that spaceship.

      Thank you for this, D

      1. What a badass. Thanks

      2. I was expecting this

      3. Astounding woman:

        When it was John Glenn's turn to go up, NASA had started using machines for such calculations. But Glenn, who mistrusted this new technology, insisted that [Katherine] Johnson double-check the results.

        John Glenn won't fly unless KJ personally runs the numbers. That is badass.

      4. Katherine Johnson's story should be more widely known and celebrated as an American success story. Thanks very much for this link.

  2. as if enough land isn't restricted for development already.

    1. As long as its self (and privately) financed, I'm good.

      1. Ken Burns does not do private.

        1. Shut up, Suki - you're dead

    2. The American west is vast. There is more than enough room for development and farming, with plenty left over for huge reserves.

      1. I have a few friends who are convinced there's too many people. I point to how much of this state is federal land.

        1. Yes. There are too many people WITH the state and federal land.

      2. She has HUGE....reserves.

        1. ... and vast tracks of land?

        2. Grand Tetons.

  3. I just want to see a large group of animal rights activist out there protesting on this reserve, live on national TV, when suddenly there's a massive buffalo stampede headed right at them... all the grizzly details at 11...

    1. "all the grizzly details"
      What you did there was noted...

    2. Grizzlycopter vs mechabison. Somebody Kickstart this shit.

  4. Smart to involve the ranchers. Only way to make it work really.

    1. They had an Econ Talk about it. They definitely understand the need for local buy-in and proper incentives.

  5. Interesting. The National Parks seemed very favorable towards the idea of explicitly government parks as an expression of democracy. Burns doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who would be drawn to this specifically because it is a private effort.

    But I love the idea of the American Prairie Reserve and Burns can bring great publicity to it. Just goes to show that it's better to build bridges and to not make everything ideological.

  6. Also, I don't get the Ken Burns love. I thought The National Parks really failed to capture the grandeur and beauty of the parks because of Burns cinematic style. Plus, the whole thing looked like it was shot with outdated cameras. I tried watching the baseball documentary but never really found it that interesting.

    1. Ken Burns documentaries are designed to put old people to bed.

      1. I took an entire class dedicated to his docs in undergrad. Try making it through any of them with a massive hangover. I did enjoy the Brooklyn Bridge one though.

      2. Ken Burns is to documentary what Garrison Keillor is to comedy.

        PBS/NPR all the way.

  7. Can Burns do a documentary on people who look like someone cleaned up a hobo and put them in front of a camera?

    1. He walks into Supercuts and asks for the "lesbian John Denver."

      1. It's called "The Steve Irwin". It's in their catalog.

  8. Been watching Jazz. It's a typical Burns documentary and follows his basic formula, but it's very interesting. But, like most of his documentaries, it's entirely too long.

    1. *my favorite segment from that is when they talk about Sydney Bechet

      He of, "will get into gunfights with people over chord-changes"-reputation.

      (i think) wynton marsalis relates a story about how he showed up at a man's door one morning with his pit-bull, saying, "Someone told me you said your dog is more-dog than my dog"

      Effectively challenging the man to a fight, or 'dog-off' of some kind. It was supposed to illustrate his very-competitive, belligerent attitude.

      I've since always loved the expression, "More-dog", as an obscure way to say something is "the best".

  9. Does this award come with milk?

      1. Why does Jesus have a winchester?

        1. I think the better question is why not?

          1. (contemplates)

            I don't know. I just feel like his robes might interfere with working a lever-action. Though i can see the benefits of having a .45/70 when confronting armored Romans.

            1. Are we talking about Jesus or Johnny T. when he dresses in drag as Suki?

            2. It's purely decorative. Everyone knows that Jesus can shoot lightning bolts.

              1. The lightning bolts are superfluous, the dude rides a damn T Rex.

        2. Why not?!?!

          What are you, one of them anti-gunners?

      2. It would be cooler if He were riding a dinosaur. And wearing sunglasses.

  10. Spot the Not: GOP & ISIS

    1. What Republicans and ISIS Have in Common

    2. ISIS's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, sounds like a Republican candidate for president.

    3. Are Republicans getting paid to write propaganda for ISIS?

    4. The GOP is America's ISIS

    5. Republicans: Please Stop Helping ISIS

    6. 5 Ways Republicans are Actually Strengthening ISIS/Daesh

    1. I'll go with 4 because its too direct

      The other headlines fall under the "dietary-supplements"-rule of Claim-Factualness = You can always say something "Promotes" or "Aids" or "Helps" or "Supports" or "Contributes" or "Resembles" or "Shares Features With"... because its not suggesting any 1-1 correlation, or equivalence, or direct connection.

      1. because its not suggesting any 1-1 correlation, or equivalence, or direct connection

        Are you the expert from the Negro Space Program documentary??

        1. I chafe, take umbrage with, am irritated by, and object to any such comparison.

          1. Apologies. Or, one might say, and indeed I say, d?sol?? "sorry," if you will; mea culpa and, we find, "my bad," as it were, indeed, verily, we see "no doubt," I am contrite.

  11. Burns is an arrant State-f*cker, so I'm already dubious.

  12. Are you a super-villain, with an arctic or snow-bound lair? Do you need something for your henchmen to ride? Well, you're all set with this!

    1. *Fd'A rubs chin thoughtfully*

    2. Super-villain?

      That thing is the moped of snow vehicles.

    3. My balls hurt just looking at it.


    5. "Snoped"? Sounds like fiction.

  13. How to calculate and be aware of your privilege.

    1. Rufus,

      I appreciate the link yet I stopped the video around the 15 second mark and intend to watch the original without the unnecessary commentary. My sense is that many of the regular commentators at H&R do not need to be spoon fed (nor do you in my opinion). I am not trying to make a larger point other than what I've typed.

      Type to you soon (after watching the original video).


      1. The commentary is the only thing that makes it remotely bearable (pun intended). Without the commentary, it's like watching an America's Funniest Home Videos nut-punch reel without the laugh track. You just feel sad and a little concerned for humanity.

        1. The commentary is the only thing that makes it remotely bearable
          We certainly disagree in this regard.

          ... feel sad and a little concerned for humanity.

          With or without the commentary/Let the video stand on its own.

          1. I've learned that some people really enjoy this new genre of "20-something male makes sarcastic comments about a crazy person's video" while others do not.

            1. I guess I just can't get on board with consistently exposing myself to unadulterated insanity. It's for the same reason that I don't follow politics closely anymore. At some point, I have a sobering moment where I realize that a non-trivial portion of humanity is represented by this insanity, and that they're winning.

              1. I realize that a non-trivial portion of humanity is represented by this insanity...

                A non-trivial portion of humanity has been afflicted with one form or another of insanity for all of human history, but the special snowflakes of the millennial generation seem particularly ridiculous.

            2. "20-something male makes sarcastic comments about a crazy person's video"

              yeah, and its pretty much the S.O.P. of everyone in the "anti-SJW" genre

              (Sargon, Thunderfoot, the artist formerly known as "internet aristocrat", Bearing, etc)

              Some snark less than others and offer actual insightful remarks/retorts. but in general its mostly just cheap-shotting because its too easy.

              If it provides any value (and i think it does) its teaching people to familiarize themselves with the most-common fallacies and rhetorical methods of the cultural-marxist types.

              1. If y'all are looking for more substantial dismantling of SJWs, there is plenty out there for you:

                Myth of Privilege (Lights the Irish signal)
                A Classic from Thomas Sowell

      2. Rufus,

        I watched the original "Does Wealth Cancel Out Privilege?" by Ms. Osmond, and I am confident that she would benefit (as would myself and many others) by being inherently more articulate with regards to our thoughts and feelings/feelings when we attempt to translate what we want to express.

        In the comment section a person with the moniker thomas menezes wrote something I think may resonate with you and some of the regular commentators here at H&R (the one beginning with "I'm sorry but your explanation ...."

        (If you read his rather lengthy comment remain cognizant of his meaning of "half caste" - which he later describes as "white British and Indianish").

        1. CE et tous e tutti,


          I didn't expect all that! I've posted far, FAR more interesting links (well, to me anyway) and all I got were crickets. This one was more of an off-the-cuff link more about her than the guy. To be frank, I don't find his replies all that zingy or sharp but he's not what I care about. He just spots such videos, comments on it and posts.

          I just thought her analogy was absurd and one in which its absurdity speaks for itself. Something the gang here would easily spot. Actually, I thought they'd zero in on that more than the guy which surprised me a little.

    2. I struggled to grasp adjoints in linear algebra. I don't think I'm even potentially capable of comprehending this theory.

      I'll just leave it to my socially-just expert betters to tell me its conclusions and give me orders. Thank God for experts. I loave science.

      1. I loave science.

        You're a food scientist specializing in yeasts used in baking?

        1. No, but you've just given me career inspiration! If only I had a square-one.

          1. Disappointed it wasn't the scene from Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask.

            1. I don't know which you're referring to! The one where Gene Wilder loaves and luffs and lurves a sheep?

              I need to rewatch that movie.

        2. He'll leaven that determination up to you

          1. Are you trying to get a rise out of him?

            1. He's just a dumb cracker as far as I'm concerned.

              1. I pita the fool.

                1. Careful. I'm a matzo, matzo man.


        3. Perhaps "Soave" and "loave" are idiomatic-ish?

          1. I loave Soave and you can't hoave him.

          2. So it's pronounced "lwa-vay

    3. I feel it could've stopped at CUNT.

    4. Anyone latching steadfastly onto the "white privilege" meme ought to watch that "Rich Hill" movie on Netflix. Certainly in many contexts white people are more "privileged" than minority races, and the same applies to the other go-to broad demographics categories (which are so, so far from exhaustive of possible beneficial proclivities), but I don't think poor rural whites would be too heartened by declarations that they are so privileged.

      "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."

      It's almost like this piece of wisdom wasn't simple enough for purveyors of this meme. Yes, some people are inherently more fortunate than others to weather the social contexts into which they are born, but you can't develop some foolproof quantitative formula for privilege, and if you could this intersectional babble is so reductive as to be a worthless approximation of it.


    1. I spotted this on the same page about Prince's politics:

      Prince released this tribute last year and performed it at a benefit concert in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray. In the song, Prince croons: "Does anybody hear us pray/For Michael Brown or Freddie Gray? ... Are we gonna see another bloody day?/We're tired of the cryin' and people dyin'/Let's take all the guns away."

      1. Freddie Gray was murdered by cops.

        Michael Brown was killed in self defense by a cop doing his job.

        #BLM exists to conflate injustice with justice in service to the state

        Everyone should have a gun.

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