I’m a huge fan of Bison restoration, and I’ve been pleased to see the careful reintroduction of wild bison to Banff, Montana, and Wind River, among other places. It is particularly gratifying that Native Americans are stewards of this process, which bolsters and renew ancient cultures and guarantees thoughtful human protectors for the Bison.
Last year we celebrated the introduction of 10 Bison to a free range on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, and a calf was born in May, to great acclamation. The project is led by the Eastern Shoshone Tribe’s Boy-zshan Bi-den (Buffalo Return) program.
This fall, an additional ten animals will be added to the herd. The latest batch is another group of “genetically pure” animals, unmixed with domestic cattle, which will further broaden the gene pool of the Wind River herd.
At 21 animals (I assume), the tiny herd can’t be considered self sustaining (the program aims for 1000 head), but it’s a start. Presumably, happy Buffalo will make more Buffalo themselves, so things should take off.
I probably will never see these Bison in person, but it makes me happy to know they are there, living as they should.
- Melodie Edwards, Eastern Shoshone Tribe To Add Ten More Wild Bison To Herd in Wyoming Pubic Media. 2017. http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/eastern-shoshone-tribe-add-ten-more-wild-bison-herd
- Garrit Voggesser, Buffalo Break New Trails on Wind River, in National Wildlife Federation – Blog. 2017. https://blog.nwf.org/2017/10/buffalo-break-new-trails-on-wind-river/