In response to an announcement by the Department of the Interior regarding planned action to restore bison populations as part of a new restoration and resilience framework, Defenders of Wildlife Senior Representative for Rockies and Plains Chamois Andersen issued the following statement:
“Defenders of Wildlife applauds the Department of the Interior’s new commitment to restore plains bison—as a native wildlife species—in herds managed as wildlife, for their contribution to our vital grasslands is guided by science and Indigenous knowledge. As a partner to many Buffalo Nations, Defenders will continue to commit to supporting Tribes with their bison programs and support DOI bison herds for the collective efforts to bring back our national mammal.”
Defenders supports bison conservation on both public and tribal lands and partners with national parks inhabited by bison, including Yellowstone, Badlands and Wind Cave National Parks. Defenders also supports bison conservation efforts at the American Prairie Reserve in Montana and Soapstone Prairie Natural Area in Colorado. Its partnerships over the years with Native American tribes have led to the establishment of major buffalo herds in Montana by the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, Fort Belknap Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes and the Blackfeet Nation.