Ecological restoration will likely take a century, says WCS, and will only be realized through collaboration with a broad range of public, private and indigenous partners. Ecological restoration of North American bison would occur when large herds of plains and wood bison can move freely across extensive landscapes within all major habitats of their historic ranges. It would also include bison interacting with the fullest possible set of other native species, as well as inspiring, sustaining and connecting human cultures.
WCS is calling on the federal government to better coordinate management of bison across federal agencies, take down barriers to the production and selling of ecologically raised bison meat, and work with Canada and Mexico on bison management.
Progress is already being made. For example, last month, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced an initiative that will work with state, tribal and agricultural interests to strengthen bison conservation efforts to help bison recover and thrive.
The WCS survey also revealed that 40 percent of its participants said that they have tried bison and 83 percent felt was good or better-tasting than beef.
Added Redford: "The survey also showed that one road to bison conservation may be a pragmatic, market-based approach, namely to grow sustainable markets for wild, free-ranging bison meat."
The three-day conference entitled "Building blocks for bison ecological restoration", was co-sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society, American Prairie Foundation, Linden Trust for Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, Safari Club International, and World Wildlife Fund.
The conference was attended by more than 100 participants
|Contact: Stephen Sautner|
Wildlife Conservation Society