Bison's Unfinished Business: The Challenge of True Recovery

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In 1886, William Temple Hornaday led a mission to find the last American buffalo, already on the brink of extinction due to human expansion.

Hornaday aimed to save the species by killing some buffalo, an irony of conservation that emerged in the West's rapid development.

The quest marked the end of an era, as human progress and buffalo preservation proved incompatible.

Yes, that has been very right! :-(

Hornaday foresaw bison's extinction due to their shrinking habitat and populations, heralding the idea of species preservation.

Though the buffalo's population dwindled, the idea of recovery was born. Hornaday preserved their legacy, if not the species itself.

Renowned filmmaker Ken Burns revisits the American buffalo's story in his documentary "American Buffalo."

Despite conservation successes with other species, true bison recovery remains elusive.

Most bison today are considered livestock, with truly wild populations remaining scarce.

Experts question if there's enough habitat left for a fully functioning wild bison population.

Organizations like American Prairie work to restore the short-grass prairie with bison as catalysts.

As we ponder the future of bison, the challenge remains: can we recover this iconic symbol of the American wilderness to its former glory?