This 200-acre prairie marsh in northcentral Montana holds a narrow reservoir about one mile long. This reservoir acts as a prairie pothole with its tailwaters slowly drying during the summer and fall. This water cycle permits waterfowl to hatch and raise young in this relatively isolated, resource-rich area, then move fledglings to major waters like the Missouri River. BR-12 also provides habitat for migrating waterfowl, upland birds, and upland wildlife species, so it’s not uncommon to observe 20-30 species in one spring day. Canvasback and redhead ducks regularly nest in the tailwaters, pelicans and tundra swans stop by for a rest and snack on their journeys, and even black terns (a species of concern) and loons have been observed utilizing BR-12’s “waterfowl facilities.” The area around BR-12 is short-grass prairie habitat. Species you might see associated with this habitat include chestnut-collared and McCowan’s longspur, horned lark, northern harrier, ferruginous hawk, Swainson’s hawk, burrowing owl, pronghorn, coyote, red fox, ground squirrel, and badger.
Activities: Wildlife viewing, hunting, primitive camping
Location / Access: From Zurich on US Hqy 2, turn north onto to Cherry Ridge Road, drive about eight miles and turn right (east) into the BR-12 area. There are Wildlife Viewing Area Signs on Highway 2 and Cherry Ridge Road.
Season/Hours: Year–round, but viewing is best in the spring.
Maps: This reservoir is not labeled, but it is shown on the BLM Havre 1:100,000 map
Havre Field Office
3990 Highway 2 West
Havre, MT 59501