Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Texas' historic bison herd has more roaming room
The state's historic bison herd just got more room to roam in a West Texas park.
About 100 bison descended from the Southern Plains herd now have access to 10,000 acres in Caprock Canyons State Park. Park staff last week opened the acres up to the animals that are members of the Official Texas State Bison Herd.
The expansion is a big step in a program that started widening the animals' access starting in 2010. The Texas herd was started in the 1870s with five bison calves captured by Charles Goodnight, one of the most prosperous cattlemen in the American West, with more than 1 million acres of ranch land and 100,000 head of cattle at his peak.
His wife urged him to save the bison, also known as buffalos, because hunters were killing them by the hundreds of thousands for their hides and meat and to crush American Indian tribes who depended on the animals for food and clothing.
The herd was donated to the state in 1997 and moved to 330 acres of the state park, which was once part of Goodnight's JA Ranch between Lubbock and Amarillo.
When the Transcontinental Railroad was built across the United States in the 1800s, the bison - which are believed to have numbered in the tens of millions - were split into what was known as the Northern and the Southern herds...more