If you haven’t heard, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has extended the public comment period regarding our grazing change of use proposal! The comment period has been extended through June 11 in an effort to allow the public more time to study the issue and submit substantive scoping comments. We are thankful for the incredible support that the proposal has received, but now is the time to take action– please submit your comment now.
On the heels of that announcement, we are excited to share with you a look into the planning and execution of what we refer to as the "bison move" – the process that we use to move bison to new areas of the Reserve and to other herds across the country.
As the bison herd populations approach maximum stocking levels of the land they graze, we move animals to different properties in an effort to protect rangeland health and to maintain the ecological standard. We use the opportunity to check the bison for disease, add pit tags (similar to the canine microchip), and outfit some animals with GPS collars or Critter Cameras provided by National Geographic. In addition to moving bison among American Prairie Reserve properties, we also send bison to other conservation herds and to native tribes.
Transitioning bison to new properties is an in-depth process and requires many man hours, but the reward is great.
The bison is a keystone species in the prairie ecosystem and we are working hard to help them regain their place on the landscape. Our approach to management is to treat bison as much like wildlife as possible, but at the same time we pay close attention to their health and wellbeing, we monitor their movements and impact on the land, and we watch how they interact with species that depend on them.
Our hope is that the change of use proposal will be approved and, over the years, we will be able to work toward moving bison onto all viable deeded and leased properties. Please ask the BLM to analyze our proposal and to consider the benefits of allowing bison to graze across American Prairie Reserve's leased public lands. Submit your comment today.