Bipartisan Bill Makes North American Bison the National Mammal
Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today applauded House passage of the National Bison Legacy Act. The bill, cosponsored by Bennet, establishes the North American bison as the national mammal of the United States. It passed the Senate unanimously last December. The bill now heads to the President's desk to be signed into law.
"Colorado has a rich agricultural heritage that includes a strong bison ranching tradition," Bennet said. "This law will help commemorate the importance of these animals to our country's heritage and our state's agricultural economy. The North American bison is a vital part of our history, and bison ranchers and conservationists in Colorado have played a significant role in their resurgence."
"The House this week followed the lead of the Senate and voted this week to establish bison as our national mammal. The bipartisan work that Senators Bennet, Hoeven, and Heinrich began last year is now coming to fruition, as this legislation will soon be headed to the White House for signature," said Dave Carter, Executive Director of the National Bison Association.
Colorado is home to more than 500 bison ranches raising more than 11,000 bison. The bison is North America's largest land mammal and once numbered 20-30 million across the continent. However, westward expansion almost reduced the bison population to extinction. Conservationists and bison ranchers have helped rejuvenate the species, bringing the current population to approximately 500,000 in North America.