Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! Happy National Bison Day!
I posted about our visit to the National Bison Range earlier this year and you can see that recap here. But today’s post is about more than the 350ish residents of the wildlife refuge in Montana…it’s about honoring the estimated half-million American Bison now living in the USA on National Bison Day.
Yes, National Bison Day is actually a thing. Thanks to the persistent lobbying of the Vote Bison Coalition, a resolution was passed by Congress designating the first Saturday of November as National Bison Day. Then in 2016, President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act into law which officially made the Bison our national mammal.
Approximately 20 million bison once roamed the American plains providing sustenance for Native Americans. The Westward expansion of white settlers, ranching and over-hunting drove the species to the brink of extinction. In the early 1900s, there were only a few hundred left.
In 1908, Theodore Roosevelt established The National Bison Range in Northwest Montana. This was the first time federal funds were used to set aside land for the protection of wildlife and marked the birth of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Location: 58355 Bison Range Rd, Charlo, MT 59824
Designation: National Wildlife Refuge
Date designation declared: 5/23/1908
Date of my visit: 6/26/2018