Mother used to warn about the dangers of "loose women" but loose bison? The Tall Grass Prairie Preserve near Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is privately owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy. A herbaceous sea nearly seven feet high, the tallgrass prairie originally stretched from Texas to Saskatchewan. With an additional National Preserve in Kansas of 140 million acres, the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve is the largest remnant of tallgrass prairie left on earth.
The primary aim of the preserve is to restore and protect endangered native grasses, the largest of which grow over 7 feet tall with roots 9 feet deep. In addition to its mission to restore and protect this dwindling ecosystem, The Tall Grass Prairie Preserve maintains a bison herd of nearly 2,500 head. By 1888, only 541 bison remained in the United States, largely protected by ranchers who attempted to breed the bison with cattle. Thanks to preservation efforts, bison are no longer a threatened species. In order to protect the native grasses from over-graizing, and to isolate cattle genes and remove them from the herd, the Preserve conducts an annual Bison Roundup every October. I managed to catch a glimpse of the herd from a distance, through binoculars. For a close-up view, watch this video of the roundup below:
The Tall Grass Prairie Museum
Scat Identification tray
Weird cage in the men's restroom
Proud Buffalo statue, Colby wearing "scat identification bandana", trying to look grizzled
Surveying the prairie