Friday, March 5, 2010

Can Wild Bison Repopulate the Plains?

This article from Dot Earth in the NY Times
I just finished reading American Buffalo by Steven Rinella. He raises this possibility at the end of the book.For those that don't think hunting a buffalo can be a challenge you should read about his hunt in the wilds of Alaska.

March 4, 2010, 7:28 am
Can Wild Bison Repopulate the Plains?

After three years of meetings and study, a broad array of conservation groups, government scientists and other experts on North American wildlife policy have produced a road map for restoring some large free-roaming populations of bison in the North American plains. The hurdles are many, with one of the biggest simply finding ways to acquire broad stretches of land that can accommodate the wandering species. Another is consolidating a maze of local, state and federal policies that treat the animals in different ways. Many Western states, for instance, classify bison as livestock and not wildlife, the report authors say, hampering how they can be managed in the wild. Here’s the full report on restoring bison. (The video above is courtesy of the Wildlife Conservation Society.)

In Canada, there is a proposal to establish a roaming herd in the Rockies between the Banff and Jasper National Parks.

In the United States, elbow room is the biggest challenge. As wild bison herds in Yellowstone National Park have expanded, they have spilled into nearby grazing lands for cattle, with more than 1,000 of the animals slaughtered in 2008 as a result.

read more


  1. From Headwater News today:
    Canadian survey tracks bison in North America
    The International Union for Conservation of Nature released the report, "American Bison: Status Survey and Conservation Guidelines 2010" Tuesday that tracks bison in the wild and sets guidelines for the future of the animals in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, but University of Calgary scientists said there's much to be done before the bison again roam Banff National Park in Alberta.
    read the full story at
    Calgary Herald ; March 5

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