April 13, 2016

First Nations become First Restorationists Part II: A Bison Case Study

In Part One I wrote about how I had noticed that American Indian Tribes were using their tribal autonomy to do species restoration on their reservations all over the central and western part of the Contiguous US. I was surprised because I hadn't seen any mention of it as a phenomenon other than one article in the New York Times. It turns out it has been quietly happening for some 30 years or more.
I meant for this post to be a survey of all that is happening, from black footed ferrets to buffalo, but I got so much info on the buffalo I have decided to make a post just on it, Tribal Buffalo Restoration, and then do another final post on the other species that have been popping up (in the case of Prairie Dogs and Black Footed Ferrets, quite literally) all over the west. So this is part two of a three part series.

Right now is the golden age of the return of the Buffalo.. it's happening all over the west, 120 or so conservation herds and growing, in addition to countless meat herds, and it feels like half of those restorations are on government land, and half are on Reservations, and as I dig, a lot of the groundwork was laid as early as the 80's, and the herds are now in some cases becoming big and viable wild herds.