Four members of the Senate have sponsored the advancement of the bill along with seven co-sponsors. The other name for the bill, National Bison Legacy Act was sent forth for sponsoring on June 11.
The bill includes 18 findings in its support for Congress’ consideration, some of which are as follows:
- Bison are considered to be a historical symbol of the United States;
- There are more than 60 Indian tribes participating in the Intertribal Buffalo Council;
- On October 11, 1907, the American Bison Society sent 15 captive-bred bison from the New York Zoological Park, now the Bronx Zoo, to the first wildlife refuge in the United States, which was known as the “Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge”, resulting in the first successful reintroduction of a mammal species on the brink of extinction back into its natural habitat;
- The buffalo nickel played an important role in modernizing the currency of the United States;
- A bison has been depicted on the official seal of the Department of the Interior almost continuously since 1912, is portrayed on 2 State flags, has been adopted by 3 States as the official mammal or animal of those States, and has been adopted as a mascot by several sports teams, which highlights the iconic significance of bison in the United States;
- In the 1st session of the 113th Congress, 22 United States Senators led a successful effort to enact a resolution to designate November 2, 2013, as the second annual National Bison Day; and members of Indian tribes, bison producers, conservationists, sportsmen, educators, and other public and private partners have participated in the annual National Bison Day celebration at several events across the United States and are committed to continuing this tradition annually on the first Saturday of November.
*For more information on the bill go to votebison.org*
In a press release written by Perry Plumart the following statement was provided, “Bison have played and continue to play an important role in Indian Country economies and in the spiritual lives of American Indians. The animal was nearly extinct in the early 1900s, but a collaboration of public and private interests worked together to help restore its population.”
The bill will allow for government recognition of the environmental issues that have followed the buffalo throughout U.S. history. This recognition will also be towards the Native American spiritual and lifestyle dependence on the buffalo. After the declaration of November 2nd to be National Bison Day last year, this is the next step.