The story of the return of bison to the Great Plains is an important one that connects many Americans to a troubling part of our nation’s past. These iconic animals simultaneously represent the natural beauty of the Wild West, as well as the thoughtless slaughter of a valuable species and the native people who depended on them.
That’s why, when we had a chance to be a part of historic efforts to restore bison to Montana tribal lands, we hired Emmy Award-winning filmmakers High Plains Films to help us tell our own part of the story. We wanted to share this tremendous accomplishment with wildlife supporters worldwide and show that it is possible to bring back a mighty creature to its rightful place.
So in March, several of us headed out to Montana to join our film crew in documenting the relocation of 61 genetically pure bison from a quarantine facility outside Yellowstone National Park to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in eastern Montana.
Part 1 of “The Return of the Bison” chronicles the history of plains bison and the role that Defenders has played in helping the tribes at Fort Peck bring the bison back to their reservation.