VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Tag archives for American Bison
This weekend, Americans will spend the 4th of July thinking of the things that make the United States great. Of course, that means independence and freedom, and probably barbecues and fireworks as well. But another of those quintessentially great things about America is the bison, an animal that has for too long gone unrecognized as the national icon that it is.
On October 30, 2013, the U.S. Senate passed, by unanimous consent, a resolution officially designating November 2, 2013, as National Bison Day. The resolution earned the bipartisan support of 25 Senators – representing a quarter of the U.S. Senate. In passing the resolution, Democratic and Republican leaders have teamed up with close to 50 diverse groups in an initiative called the Vote Bison Coalition. The group represents bison producers, Native Americans, conservationists, educational institutions, recreationists, zoological institutions, health organizations, and businesses.
National Bison Day is one of the signature components of legislation now working its way through the United States Congress. At a time of deep partisan gridlock, the National Bison Legacy Act, which would make the bison our National Mammal, boasts broad support among both Democrats and Republicans. The bill has 18 sponsors in the Senate and 7 in the House, split about evenly by party.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Many of us saw this as a turning point, a time when the world adopted a new paradigm for development. We have come to realize that economic growth and social justice cannot be achieved at the expense of the environment.
When Kai Ryssdal announced on National Public Radio’s daily financial round-up Marketplace recently that “political gridlock is over,” he wasn’t talking about health care, the national debt, or immigration policy. He was referring to legislation to make the North American bison our National Mammal. To celebrate the bison’s central place in the history and culture of the United States, conservationists, bison producers, sportsmen, and Native American tribes came together this spring to craft and advance the National Bison Legacy Act.