Archive for September 9th, 2011

Bison: Room to Roam

Friday, September 9th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

The official state bison herd—at Caprock Canyon SP—may be the last true example of the great southern bison.

08— They have roamed this area for centuries, and they have never had any outside influence.

No outside influence as it relates to genetics, says Park Superintendent Donald Beard. The herd will roam freely again with the completion of phase one of a park restoration project.

27—We are in the process of doing a lot of restoration work to return a lot of this park back to what it looked like 300 years ago before European man settled this area. Turning it back into grasslands and giving these bison some area to roam. We’re going to start with the park—fence it off—and turn them back loose again, and hopefully have a wild herd. The management will be as limited as possible, where we don’t have to interact with them, and they are truly wild again.

Park visitors get to experience these examples of true living history up close and personal, says Beard.

23—The way it’s set up is kind of like a Yellowstone type experience. You drive into the park and you are in the boson range, You are on the same side of the fence with them. It’s not like going to a wildlife park where they’re behind another fence—you will be in the area with them. You may have to stop and wait for the herd to cross in front of you. It’s a unique experience to be able to see these animals they once were—roaming the range free.

Celebrate the bison herd this month; we have details on tomorrow’s show.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife I’m Cecilia Nasti.