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Bill to make bison the national mammal introduced

Sens. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., have introduced a bill to designate the bison as the official mammal of the United States, and a group of organizations has announced a campaign to encourage public support.

Enzi and Johnson introduced the legislation at the request of a coalition of bison producers, tribal representatives and conservationists that plan to celebrate the first Thursday of each November as National Bison Day, the National Bison Association announced in a news release.

Other original co-sponsors of the legislation are Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Kent Conrad, D-N.D,. John Hoeven, R-N.D., Mike Johanns, R-Neb., Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., John Thune, R-S.D., Mark Udall, D-Colo., Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

The campaign for public support will be led by the National Bison Association, the Wildlife Conservation Society, a group that saves wildlife and wild places worldwide, and the Inter Tribal Buffalo Council, a federally chartered tribal organization dedicated to the restoration of buffalo to tribal lands in manner that is compatible with their spiritual and cultural beliefs and practices.

“The grassland environments of North America were all shaped by the hoof print of the American bison,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association, said in a news release announcing the campaign.

“The buffalo was once the center of life for the native peoples and today, as we work to restore that relationship, we would like to pause and honor the buffalo as the national mammal,” added Jim Stone, executive director of the Inter Tribal Bison Cooperative.

“We would like to see this done in order to draw attention to the diverse groups that have played a role in restoration and that continue to work on restoring an original American icon,” Stone said.

Vote Bison – Elect Our National Mammal
National Bison Association
Wildlife Conservation Society
Inter Tribal Buffalo Council