The last light was fading fast from the sky when the first three trailers arrived. Gale force winds were ripping through the high plains, and the thermometer had dropped well below freezing. Still, I was incredibly excited and gratified to be part of the small gathering with Fort Peck tribal members to witness a historic homecoming and tremendous win for wildlife.
It was so worth it to spend almost the entire day yesterday traveling from Washington, D.C. to eastern Montana, for the return of wild bison to the Great Plains. I watched in awe last night as the tribal wildlife manager flipped the latch of the first trailer, opened the door, and out roared the first two wild bison from Yellowstone National Park, storming back onto the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
One of the Yellowstone bison emerging from a trailer into a corral at Fort Peck Indian Reservation in eastern Montana.
The bison had spent all day as well, traveling about 500 miles from a quarantine facility just outside Yellowstone, where some of them had been for more than five years. But last night, they were finally set free where they truly belong in their new home.
In total, about 60 genetically pure, wild bison completed the journey. These are some of the only descendants of the historic herds that once roamed the Great Plains by the millions, and they are the first Yellowstone bison ever to be relocated to the Great Plains—the heart of their historic range– to start new herds.
Read More Here.via Historic Homecoming for Bison at Fort Peck | Defenders of Wildlife Blog.