On National Bison Day, a Symbol We Can Be Proud Of

The Vote Bison Coalition, comprised of the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, National Bison Association, Wildlife Conservation Society, and more than 50 other organizations, businesses and tribes, supports National Bison Day as a way to celebrate the bison as an American icon. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS.

By John Calvelli

[Note: This is the seventh in a series of blogs by Calvelli celebrating the history and conservation of the American Bison.]

Our national emblem is the bald eagle. This majestic bird, no matter how many times we’ve seen it on currency, t-shirts, or flags, still inspires awe in those who see it soaring overhead. It is an apt representation of our national identity.

On Saturday November 7, we will commemorate another icon that truly represents America, the mighty bison, on National Bison Day.

The Vote Bison Coalition, comprised of the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, National Bison Association, Wildlife Conservation Society, and more than 50 other organizations, businesses and tribes, supports National Bison Day as a way to celebrate the bison as an American icon. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS.

National Bison Day is a day to celebrate the cultural, historical, ecological and economic contributions of bison to our American way of life. The bison is every bit as American as the bald eagle, and no less majestic. It should be celebrated as an American icon right alongside it.

Bison are strong. They are loyal. They have attitude when they need it.

They are also resilient. There is a very compelling conservation story behind the American bison. Before being nearly wiped from existence by westward expansion, bison numbered in the tens of millions across most of North America, roaming from Oregon to New Jersey and from Alaska to Mexico. Due to overhunting, bison populations dwindled to the brink of extinction in the 19th century, down to approximately 1,000 individuals.

The bison, North America’s largest land mammal, once roamed the continent freely, helping sustain plains and prairie ecosystems as a keystone species through grazing, fertilization, trampling and other activities. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS.

Fearing the loss of a —> Read More

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