Southern Plains Bison Pointers Oct 2014

Going in to November is all about planning and making the best decisions possible during the seasonal shift to winter operations. Once again, as with all other seasons, it’s all about feed. Personally I like to enhance the already bountiful cool season in the southern plains, by adding seed to my system to feed bison and benefit my ecology. That’s right, my ecology. My ranch is an ecology that I accept responsibility for with regard to the whole system and its functionality.  Personally; I wish Aldo Leopold were around today and could see, perceive and write about the ‘bison rancher’. He famously, and with elegance, referred to the axe, cow and the plow as being the tools used to destroy the natural environment, but equally available to repair and restore it. I think if he were alive today, he would right about the hydro axe, the no-till and the bison.

The definition of ecology is: ‘the study of the relationships between living organisms and their interactions with their natural or developed environment’. Arguably this is the charge and toil of any land-steward. It’s just more fun as a bison-rancher, predisposed to an appreciation for wild things and their habitat. There’s another ecology also arguably the charge of any and all land and bison stewards; the human ecology. Believe it or not, it’s an actual term defined as: ‘a branch of sociology that studies the relationships between human beings and their natural and social environments’. Boy is that a mouth full these days. The human-ecology is always evolving, always present and always never perfect. It can be as chaotic as the natural world, and equally destructive, beautiful or an efficacious amalgam of both. Personally, I like active participation because my bison deserve my watchful eye on the ‘human ecology’!

One such ecology of the anthropocentric persuasion is the NBLA [National Bison Legacy Act]. S.2464 and HR 3400, which is the reason today, November 1st, is National Bison Day. It is a well rounded and well worded bill that proposes naming bison as the National Mammal of the United States. Personally I am in support of the bill because of the conversations it will cause, and the fact that all communities are identified as integral, including the consumer. In a piece called ‘Bald Eagles & Bison’ I wrote:  The bison is already our national mammal and everybody knows it.  I know it because it just so happens that; I- read – the – bill… Through the time-of-territories, conception and laborious birth of America, bison have roamed around, through, up against and finally with civilization to become the ecologically dynamic doable. They now   stoically remain as remnants, guarded by those who believe and regard their significance with passion and dedication as emblematic to an American metaphor of resilience and strength. Bison are intrinsically American because they are still here, still strong, and though they wear scars of the past, persist with regard as a species of significance. American – you… bet!’ The bills chances of success are slim because of house rule VII, which disallows consideration of any commemorative legislation. This rule can be, and has been suspended at the discretion of the house leadership.


So – get out and participate & Happy  ‘National Bison Day’!