By Matthew Brown
Associated Press 

Increasing federal effort helps return bison to tribal lands


December 7, 2022

AP Photo/Matthew Brown

Margaret O'Connor describes how to trim fat from a piece of bison that was shot and butchered at the Wolakota Buffalo Range on the Rosebud Indian Reservation last month near Spring Creek, South Dakota.

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, S.D. - Perched atop a fence at Badlands National Park, Troy Heinert peered from beneath his wide-brimmed hat into a corral where 100 wild bison awaited transfer to the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

Descendants of bison that once roamed North America's Great Plains by the tens of millions, the animals would soon thunder up a chute, take a truck ride across South Dakota and join one of many burgeoning herds Heinert has helped reestablish on Native American lands.

Heinert nodded in satisfaction to a U.S. Park Service employee as the animals stomped their hooves and kicked...

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