“When our great-great-grandparents were toddlers, stamping one wobbly foot in front of the other, three continental time zones reverberated with millions upon millions of pounding hooves from Nevada to New York, Montana to Mexico. No life was untouched by the American bison (Bison bison): our hoofed ancestors were the original American engineers…
Until we exterminated 99.999997% of them.”
So begins my latest essay in the Spring 2018 issue of Flyway – Journal of Writing and Environment the story of how we killed, and continue to kill off, our iconic, irreplaceable relative: the American Bison.
I feel passionate about the loss, not only because of the deep spiritual connections between bison and First Nations, but also because of the essential ecological roles that can only by filled by bison.
Only one non-profit has devoted twenty years to saving the bison: the Buffalo Field Campaign. If you don’t yet know about BFC, I encourage you to get to become familiar with their work, donate to their wish list, or host one of their Road Show events.
And I encourage you to spend the time reading the essay, that I spent several years researching and writing: I guarantee you will learn things you never knew before – including what a bison-bellow sounds like. If you are moved by my words, please share them, and educate others.
There is still a chance to turn things around: we can respect the Bison People – and all they give to this world – by protecting their right to roam. Freely. Throughout their ancestral homelands.