This holiday season was nothing short of a roller-coaster for folks and bison in the southern plains. We went from Christmas in the 70’s to spring jet-stream collisions and tornadoes, to drifting snow and ice in a period of a week. This kind of stuff really brings into focus the bison-advantage of resilience and durability. Our job, as stewards, is to make the performance of natural behaviors possible. Observing your herd’s behavior in times of environmental extremes can aid you in knowing how to manage for it.
Sales, conferences, shows, gatherings and bison-works are all part of bison-business-as-usual this time of year. This year, we also have federal legislation in motion that recognizes the buffalo-rancher and their herds as integral to bison conservation. Clearly stated in multiple congressional findings, the National Bison Legacy Act [NBLA] sites the rancher of yesteryear, and today, along with tribes, public herds and NGO conservancies as a mosaic of functional conservation of the American bison. Referred to as having ‘sweeping cultural significance’, bison are present in the history and the DNA of every ecological region in America. They are (!) the National Mammal – and everyone knows it. Making it official will only propel the possibilities for furthering their restoration to the American landscape.