Hoeven Marks Significance of the American Bison at the North Dakota Buffalo Association's 25th Anniversary Banquet

Senator Sponsored Legislation Designating the Bison as the National Mammal Passed by Congress in April

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today emphasized the economic and cultural significance of bison at the 25th anniversary banquet of the North Dakota Buffalo Association (NDBA) in Jamestown. In April, Congress approved legislation Hoeven sponsored which designated the bison as the national mammal.

“A symbol of strength and dignity, the bison reflects the pioneering spirit exemplified by Americans throughout our history,” Hoeven said. “The bison has long been regarded as sacred by many Native American tribes, and were harvested using every part of the animal. Bison were hunted to near extinction, but the nationwide efforts of groups like NDBA have successfully established them again. Today, the bison is once again prized and thriving in America. The bison industry, a $340 million enterprise, is making the animal known across the country for its healthy meat, valuable hides and other byproducts. We worked to designate the bison as our national mammal to continue to focus attention on this majestic animal and its incredible story and to honor its economic, historic and cultural significance for our country.”

The story of the North American bison is remarkable. By the late 1800s, fewer than a thousand bison remained alive in North America. They had once numbered more than 40 million. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt and the American Bison Society established a captive breeding program at the Bronx Zoo to save the bison. This and other conservation efforts have saved the bison, and public or private bison herds now roam all 50 states. In addition to a multimillion dollar bison ranching and production industry, bison create recreation opportunities for wildlife viewers in parks, refuges and zoos.

NDBA is a non-profit organization that works to advance issues related to bison. The banquet is a culmination of a weekend of educational tours and social gatherings. Hoeven is a member of the Congressional Friends of the National Park Service Centennial.