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Conservation groups celebrate return of wild bison to Banff National Park, Canada


BANFF NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA -- The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) welcomed today’s announcement by Mr. Blake Richards, Member of Parliament for Wild Rose on behalf of the federal Minister of Environment Leona Aglukkaq, of a special dedicated budget of 6.4 million dollars over five years for reintroducing wild bison to Banff National Park, and the setting in motion of a formal plan to achieve this long-standing goal.

“This announcement to proceed with the wild bison reintroduction in Banff National Park is significant for conservation at the North American scale” said Keith Aune, Director of bison programs, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and chair of the IUCN North America Bison Specialist Group.

“Over a century ago, North Americans came together to bring the bison back from the edge of extinction through the American Bison Society, whose original patrons were Canada’s Governor General , Earl Grey, and American President Theodore Roosevelt. Today, more than a century later, we are taking another step forward in re-establishing bison back into the wild.This is a great day for the recovery of bison in North America, and recognizes the important role this magnificent animal plays in the ecosystem," said Keith Aune.

“Bison have an incredible way of bringing the community together, especially ranchers like me, and First Nations people”, said Gord Vaadeland, CPAWS’ bison specialist and Saskatchewan Executive Director. “We are very excited that bison will be back where they belong in Canada’s most famous national park. This will be an important step towards restoring the ecological integrity of the national park, and reflects a long-standing cultural connection between the people of this region and bison.”

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Media inquiries please contact:

Gord Vaadeland, CPAWS’s bison specialist
Cell: 1-306-469-7876, email: gvaadeland@cpaws.org

Scott Smith, WCS

email sSmith@wcs.org