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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

"IF THEY'RE MISSING, YOU PUT THEM BACK"--Harvey Locke(of enviro group BISON BELONG-------- Bison have been absent from Canada's Banff National Park for 100 years and there is now a plan in place to re-wild the "thunderous beasts" come 2013-2014...........The Wolves will welcome them back; so will another piece of the natural order of things return to this great National Park

Bison belong

By Kevin Penny; Banff Crag &Canyon

Banff National Park could see a bison re-introduction program as early as 2013.
Bill Hunt, resource conservation manager for the Banff field unit, said he expects a draft plan to be created by mid summer. After public consultations are finalized, Hunt expects the environmental assessment to start next summer."We've gone out to a few stakeholders like the province of Alberta, First Nations leaders, and the Department of Agriculture, and brainstormed different pros and cons and options," said Hunt.

If all goes well, Hunt expects the bison program to start unfolding in either late 2013 or early 2014. The only thing that could stand in Parks Canada's way is funding."Managing bison on this landscape is going to require a lot of resources," said Hunt. "Both in capital funding but also staff."
Environment Minister Peter Kent announced in January that public consultations are in the process of moving forward for the bison re-introduction plan.

Bison were hunted to near extinction by early settlers in the 19th century, and have since been slowly brought back to the Canadian ecosystem. Parks such as Elk Island and Grasslands National Park are examples of parks that have had bison re-introduction programs."It's a missing part of the ecosystem," said Hunt.

Bison in eastern Canada

Despite the cost worries, Bison Belong, a local group that has been working to make the re-introduction a reality, is hopeful to see bison back in the park by the end of 2013. Locke is glad to see Parks Canada working to restore the lost species back to the ecosystem."Banff park is a natural bison habitat," said Harvey Locke of Bison Belong. "There have been bison in this area for thousands of years but they were almost entirely extinct."If they're missing you put them back. That's the job of a national park."

Locke brings up the elk introduction program when talking about reintroducing bison, which has been quite successful in bringing the elk populations back up in the park. Elk had suffered a similar problem of over hunting before the park was established."A lot of people don't know it, but the elk were shot out of the park too," said Locke.

For more information about the bison reintroduction plan, contact Bison Belong at

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