Skip to comments.(Wild) Bison once again roam eastern Colorado (wildlife refuge formerly the Rocky Mountain Arsenal)
Posted on 03/17/2007 12:46:02 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - After an absence of more than a century, wild bison were returned to Colorado's Front Range on Saturday in full view of Denver's skyline.
Sixteen buffalo from the National Bison Range in northwestern Montana were released in an enclosed 1,400-acre section of a wildlife refuge that formerly was the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, where nerve gas and other chemical weapons were manufactured.
"The release went very smoothly. We would say this was a tremendous success," said Matt Kales, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He said the animals were released in an area that had never been used for the manufacture of weapons.
The 17,000-acre arsenal is being cleaned up and transformed from a chemical weapons and pesticide manufacturing center into the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.
The refuge, about 10 miles from downtown Denver, already is home to deer, bald eagles and hundreds of other species.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the parts of the arsenal that have been cleaned up, said bison were once a key part of the area's short-grass prairie ecosystem.
"The short grass left by grazing bison is ideal habitat for prairie dog colonies, which in turn provide habitat and prey for rare species such as burrowing owls, hawks and swift foxes," said Jonathan Proctor of Defenders of Wildlife. "Bison also add nutrients to the soil and create wallows which can attract several types of birds."
Fish and Wildlife manages bison on seven refuges nationwide. Kales said the arsenal would be the first bison refuge in a major metro area. The agency might relocate more bison to the site if the first herd thrives.
"We are not only giving the bison a chance, but giving the people of Denver a chance to connect with them," Kales said.
Kales said Fish and Wildlife officials don't believe the bison will try to get out of their enclosure, but employees will have tranquilizer guns and escape plans ready as a precaution.
American bison cows head out of a trailer on on to their new home on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in the northeast Denver suburb of Commerce City, Colo., Saturday, March 17, 2007. Sixteen wild bison from the National Bison Range in Montana were released to mark the event, which is a major milestone in both the ecological restoration of the Colorado site and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's wild bison conservation efforts. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Here I am, getting faintly misty over buffalo roaming free, and you have to go and spoil the moment with a crack like that! LOL!!
Uh, didn't they also try that in Jurassic Park? With mixed results?
This is wonderful news.
The steaks are great and are less likely to have prion disease.
But the wings do. ;)
At one BarBque I tasted Beffalo, Elk and even Moose burgers.
Femino-nazi neuter all Bull Bisons PING!
Time to break out the Remington Rolling Block. I need a new belt ande billfold.
The steaks are great. Better than beef in my opinion.
Still, this is a big move when you consider the entire herd of all living American bison was 'way down at the turn of the century to just a few in...NEEEW YAWWK!
home on the range ping
1400/16 = 87.5 acres per bison = plenty big
One reason that the buffalo herds were decimated is that their tough hides allowed them to ignore most any fence.
Give them enough time, and they will push right past the fenced in areas and out into traffic.
Very cool...But don't let Gore know...Bison also add nutrients to the soil and create wallows which can attract several types of birds."
Gore will be very upset & grab some innocent children & scare them into submission and nightmares of global warming.
Yeah, bison are good eatin'. There are two bison farms near my house, with butcher shops. The burgers/steaks/roasts are outstanding.