Today, May 9th 2016, the president signed the bill designation bison as our national mammal.
National Bison Day Resolution Introduction: Sept. 23rd!
We are absolutely always looking for additional coalition members. Please consider being added by simply fill out the webform at http://votebison.org/join.
Also, it would be great if you could email/call Cornyn’s and Cruz’s staff this week to 1) let them know that the resolution will be introduced next week; and 2) emphasize how important it is to their constituents that they become original cosponsors.
Coalition Update: October Vote Bison Campaign Update Nov 1st
I would like to welcome Patagonia, Inc. (HQ in CA) to the coalition.
We have had an extremely busy and exciting October. As you all know, on Oct. 29th, the U.S. Senate passed S.Res. 254 by unanimous consent, officially designating Nov. 2, 2013, as National Bison Day. The resolution, led by Senators Enzi (WY) and Johnson (SD) earned the bipartisan support of an additional 23 cosponsors.
On Oct. 30th, the Wildlife Conservation Society hosted a Congressional reception on Capitol Hill in DC in honor of National Bison Day. The reception had over 250 attendees and featured remarks from the following individuals:
– Representative Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO-1)
– Rachel Jacobson, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife & Parks at the U.S. Department of the Interior
– Paul Thompson, Proprietor of Ted’s Montana Grill in Alexandria, VA
Also on Oct. 30th, Representatives Clay, Fortenberry (R-NE-1), Serrano (D-NY-15), and Noem (R-SD-At Large) reintroduced the National Bison Legacy Act in the U.S. House. The bill, H.R. 3400, would make bison the National Mammal of the U.S. There is a link to the bill text in this fantastic blog post: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/188956-and-the-nominee-for-national-mammal-of-the-united-states-is. Next week, I will update www.votebison.org to reflect the new legislation and circulate a draft letter that you can customize and send to your Representative in the U.S. House asking him/her to cosponsor H.R. 3400, the National Bison Legacy Act.
Below are some updates about National Bison Day, which I know you will all be celebrating tomorrow.
Thanks so much for your hard work this month! As always, let me know if there is anything I can do to help your Vote Bison promotional efforts.
Federal Affairs Policy Analyst & Vote Bison Campaign Coordinator
Wildlife Conservation Society
444 North Capitol St. NW
Suite 397 Washington, DC 20001
02.624.8195 202.624.8465 (direct)
National Bison Day
You can view the list of National Bison Day events happening around the country at www.votebison.org/events. Following your event/activities, please email me a quick summary of how it went, a list of any VIP attendees and a few photos. I would like to share this information with the full coalition in next month’s update and add the photos to the slideshow on www.votebison.org.
National Bison Day News
National Bison Day is getting great media pick-up. An AP story went out today that is being published by local outlets across the country.
General 6 articles plus articles from DC, IA, KS, SD, TX, WY,
Breaking News !!!!
Oct 29th 2013: Late last night, the U.S. Senate passed S.Res. 254 by unanimous consent, officially designating Nov. 2, 2013, as National Bison Day. The resolution, led by Senators Enzi (WY) and Johnson (SD) earned the bipartisan support of an additional 23 cosponsors. This kind of geographically diverse, bipartisan support is unheard of in today’s Congress. Thank you all for your outreach efforts that made this success possible.
In preparation for your National Bison Day promotional activities and events, I have attached the latest Vote Bison Campaign fact sheet, FAQ sheet, and list of supporters. I have also attached a sample press release that you can customize to promote your National Bison Day events. Lastly, I have included a social media guide that provides sample tweets and a Facebook post.
Check out votebison.org/events to see the full list of events happening around the country.
Please let me know if you need any additional information/materials.
Federal Affairs Policy Analyst
Wildlife Conservation Society
444 North Capitol St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
(example of one letter sent)
Dear Senator Cruz: Sept. 23, 2013
I am writing on behalf of Frasier Bison LLC, to request that you become a cosponsor of a resolution recognizing that Native Americans, bison producers, conservationists, sportsmen, educators and other public and private partners will spearhead a national celebration of the American bison – National Bison Day – on November 2, 2013.
The resolution will be introduced by Senators Enzi (WY) and Johnson (SD) to acknowledge the role of bison in our national heritage.
Bison—our largest indigenous land mammal—have unparalleled historical, cultural, economic and ecological significance to the U.S. Once ranging from Oregon to New Jersey and Alaska to Mexico, bison herds inspired awe in western explorers, were integrally linked with the economic, physical and spiritual lives of Native Americans, and are a symbol of frontier culture. The value of bison was recognized in 1905, when men and women from all walks of life, including ranchers, Native Americans, industrialists, President Theodore Roosevelt, and citizens from across the nation came together in a monumental effort to save bison from extinction.
Bison are an important animal in many sectors of modern American life, and are recognized for their hardiness and ability to thrive in most North American landscapes. Bison continue to sustain and provide cultural value to Native American communities including many Texas tribes.
Bison production on private ranches is in its strongest economic condition in more than a decade. The total value of privately owned bison on more than 4000 bison ranches in all 50 states in the U.S. was estimated to exceed $280 million in 2012. The most recent USDA census reports 618 bison farms in Texas, more than any state in the union and was ranked 4th in trade. Texas also passed 3 pieces of legislation pursuant to bison, including CSR 20 making the first week in May, [Texas Bison Week] through the year 2022 and held a historic bill signing ceremony with a live buffalo on the capitol steps. I invite you to read all about it at www.frasierbison.com or www.allaboutbison.com
Bison are highly desired by the sporting-public and provide enjoyment and education to millions of visitors who recreate in America’s great outdoors, and tourists eager to view both public and private bison herds contribute to the economies of rural communities. Bison herds for public enjoyment and use are found on state and federal lands and at zoological institutions throughout the country. Bison are profiled on coins, represented on two State flags, depicted on the Department of the Interior’s seal,[the Texas General Land Office seal] and featured on logos of sports teams, businesses, and academic institutions.
November 1, 2012, marked the inaugural “National Bison Day” featuring events in South Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. Please help lead the effort to formally recognize this national celebration, acknowledging the bison’s special place in our national heritage, as well as the contributions bison make to American life now and will for centuries to come. To cosponsor or obtain more information, contact Travis Jordan in Senator Enzi’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joshua Tonsager in Senator Johnson’s office at email@example.com. For more information about the legislative campaign that is supported by a diverse coalition, visit www.votebison.org.
Sincerely, Tim & Rhonda Frasier,
Frasier Bison LLC. Gainesville, Texas.
Frasier Bison LLC is supporting the National Bison Day resolution for the following reasons:
1) We think that the media will report the resolution widely and it’s wording that definitely represents the restoration of bison as a cooperative effort that includes Tribal communities, conservation communities and private herds and producers in a fair and balanced way.
2) We feel that the private herds [and their contribution to the economy and US food-security] are represented well
3) We feel that the message contained in the wording fairly and accurately gives credit to all bison communities and interests.
4) We feel that engaging this legislation and being at the table, is vital to the continuation of giving credit to the bison-rancher for their contribution to bison restoration and the preservation of the species on the American landscape.
5) Frasier Bison LLC has joined the coalition, as a private-bison interest, and will remain in support of bison as the National Mammal, [pending the wording of an act] sometime in the future.
If you agree with the attached resolution wording and would like to support it, please contact the Senators at the addresses provided and/or call with your support. The letter you received earlier is yours to tweak and personalize or completely copy. This resolution will be introduced today! For those of you outside the great state of Texas, contact Stacia [provided below] for who to contact from your state.
Cruz: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>; 202-224-5922
Cornyn: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>; 202-224-2934
If you would like your company, ranch or farm name to be included as a coalition member, please contact:
Federal Affairs Policy Analyst
Wildlife Conservation Society
444 North Capitol St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
or go to www.votebison.org<http://www.votebison.org/> or contact Stacia at: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Thank you for your consideration,
Frasier Bison LLC
Public urged to take action at www.votebison.org
WASHINGTON (SEPTEMBER 24, 2013) – The Wildlife Conservation Society, Intertribal Buffalo Council, and National Bison Association today announced the introduction of a U.S. Senate resolution to recognize National Bison Day on Saturday, November 2, 2013. The resolution, which was introduced by Sens. Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Tim Johnson (D-SD), acknowledges the bison for its cultural, economic, and ecological significance across the American landscape.
Sens. Enzi and Johnson introduced the legislation at the request of the Vote Bison Coalition, currently consisting of 42 diverse entities representing bison producers, Native Americans, conservationists, educational institutions, sportsmen/recreationists, zoological institutions, health organizations and businesses. The Vote Bison Coalition celebrated the inaugural National Bison Day on November 1, 2012, with events in South Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. The Vote Bison Campaign is supported by an Advisory Council including Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Chief Earl Old Person of the Blackfeet Nation, and Ted Roosevelt V – the great-great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt.
The Campaign asks the public to “vote for bison,” while highlighting the many ways that bison have shaped America’s history, economy, culture, and landscapes. The public has an opportunity to follow the national campaign focused on making bison the National Mammal of the United States by visiting www.votebison.org<http://www.votebison.org>. Steering members of the coalition are WCS, the Intertribal Buffalo Council (which has a membership of 57 tribes in 19 states), and the National Bison Association (which has more than 1000 members across all 50 states).
The bison—America’s largest land mammal—is celebrated for its cultural relevance and power to inspire. In the early 1900’s, bison numbered less than 1,100 individuals after ranging across North America in the tens of millions a century earlier. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt, William Hornaday of WCS (then the New York Zoological Society), and others convened a group of diverse stakeholders at the Bronx Zoo in New York City and formed the American Bison Society. The Society developed a new conservation ethic and helped save bison from extinction. In 1907, fifteen Bronx–born bison were sent by the Society to the first big game refuge in the U.S.—the Wichita Reserve Bison Refuge. Today, bison number in the hundreds of thousands in the United States and are found in state and national parks, wildlife refuges, and on tribal and private lands.
“The bison is quintessentially American,” said WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs John Calvelli. “What better way to acknowledge the bison’s remarkable contribution to U.S. culture than to designate a day of recognition and celebration? We encourage everyone to mark November 2nd on their calendars as a day to re-connect to this enduring symbol of America’s natural heritage.”
Among other findings, the National Bison Day Resolution recognizes that bison are integrally linked to Native American culture, are a keystone species that benefit grassland ecosystems, hold significant value for private producers and rural communities, and are considered a symbol of the American West.
WCS Senior Conservationist Keith Aune said, “Western science combined with ancient traditional knowledge describes many important relationships that large herds of bison maintained with other animals. Last year’s inaugural National Bison Day celebration provided an opportunity for people to go to events that explore those relationships and learn about the impact bison had on shaping the American landscape.”
Bison currently appear on two state flags, on the seal of the Department of the Interior, and on U.S. currency. In addition, bison have been adopted as the state mammal of Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The coalition believes that the bison is the nation’s most culturally recognizable mammal and as such deserves recognition through designation and celebration.
“National Bison Day is an opportunity to celebrate the bison as a living symbol of the United States,” said Senator Johnson. “Bison not only play a central role in Native American culture, they are increasingly important in South Dakota and across the nation as bison ranching and interest in this great mammal have grown.”
Based to some extent on the health benefits derived from consumption of bison as a red meat source, bison today are an economic driver as well. The total value of privately owned bison on more than 4000 bison ranches in the U.S. was estimated to exceed $280 million in 2012, creating jobs and contributing to the nation’s food security.
“The grassland environments of North America were all shaped by the hoof print of the American bison,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association. “As we introduce healthy bison meat to a new generation of Americans, we are also restoring a vital part of the ecological health to our grasslands. Just as the bison are a proud part of our past, they are a growing part of our future as well.”
Bison continue to sustain and provide cultural value to Native Americans. Today, bison remain integrally linked with the spiritual lives of Native Americans through cultural practices, social ceremonies and religious rituals. ITBC member tribes have a combined herd of over 15,000 bison on more than one million acres of tribal land.
“The buffalo was once the center of life for the Native peoples and today, as we work to restore that relationship, we would like to pause and honor the buffalo on National Bison Day,” said Jim Stone, Executive Director of the Intertribal Bison Cooperative.”We would like to see this done in order to draw attention to the diverse groups that have played a role in restoration and that continue to work on restoring an original American icon.”
Sens. Enzi and Johnson were joined as original co-sponsors of the resolution by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
For more information, please contact Chip Weiskotten at 518-669-3936 or go to www.votebison.org