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American BisonA Natural History$
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Dale Lott, Jan van Wagtendonk, and Kevin Shaffer

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233386

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233386.001.0001

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A Great Plains Park

A Great Plains Park

Chapter:
(p.202) Chapter 25 A Great Plains Park
Source:
American Bison
Author(s):

Dale F. Lott

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520233386.003.0025

George Catlin, who traveled, wrote about, and painted the plains between 1832 and 1839, proposed a Great Plains Park created by the national government, where herds of elks and buffalo would be protected in perpetuity. Catlin was way ahead of his time. A Great Plains Park must be very large — at least 5,000 square miles — and must include both upland and river bottom habitat. It's too late to preserve such a representation of the Great Plains, but it's not too late to restore one. Canada has shown the way and even pointed to a place. Its story begins in 1956, when the Saskatchewan Natural History Society began to push for a Grasslands National Park. A grassland park in the United States is possible. It hardly needs saying that such a park would give a welcome boost to wild bison conservation.

Keywords:   George Catlin, Great Plains Park, buffalo herds, national park, Grasslands National Park, Canada, United States, bison conservation

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