Posted on June 12, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Wide-open prairie in the heartland
American bison grazing just outside Badlands National Park.
NATCHEZ — We’re in the heart of the deep south now, in Mississippi Delta country, sweltering in early summer heat and thinking back to a few days ago, when we enjoyed gentle breezes on the great plains of South Dakota. Those wide-open spaces can be a little disorienting for mountain dwellers. It’s easy to orient yourself in the morning by checking a familiar skyline as a reference point. Out in this endless sea of rolling grass, that’s not an option. But it’s easy to see what drew pioneers and settlers westward into this vast territory. On a fair day, it’s gentle and inviting …
Filed under: daily photoblog, Environment, photography, recreation, Travel, West | Tagged: Badlands, Bison, buffalo, prairie, South Dakota, Summit County News, Travel | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 10, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Restoration of wild herds could help restore grassland ecosystems
A wild bison roams free in the Black Hills of South Dakota. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — An international conservation group is suggesting that bison herds could once again roam the grasslands and forests of North America — but only if there is a significant shift in public attitude about the animals.
“The key is recognition that the bison is a wildlife species and to be conserved as wildlife, it needs land and supportive government policies,” said the University of Calgary’s Dr. Cormack Gates, who co-edited a recent report on North American bison and serves as co-chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s bison specialist group.
Restoring bison could be one of the most ambitious wildlife conservation projects ever attempted, considering the amount of rangeland they would need to thrive in the wild. Alaska wildlife biologists are considering a plan to restore wood bison, and there is a remnant bison herd in Yellowstone. But in other parts of North America — including Colorado — the animals are managed primarily as livestock.
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: Badlands National park, biodiversity, Bison, Black Hills, buffalo, South Dakota, Summit County News, Travel, wildlife | 1 Comment »