More Bison Join Island Herd

More Bison Join Island Herd

Bison have roamed Catalina Island off the coast of California since 1924. They have valuable Yellowstone Park genetics, but now with two new pregnant females have added more diversity. Courtesy Catalina Island Conservancy.

Bison have played a significant role in the cultural heritage of Catalina Island for nearly 100 years and will be roaming there freely far into the future.

Catalina Island Conservancy worked with the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation herd to bring two pregnant female bison to Catalina Island.

The new additions arrived in early December and will supplement the genetic diversity of the current bison herd on Catalina Island with the valuable genetics of heritage bison.

The herd—managed by Colorado State University, the city of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Larimer County—was established with nine adult females and one male calf in November 2015.

It has now grown to over 100 bison, which has made it possible to share bison with tribal and conservation herds across the country.

The bison have valuable genetics from the Yellowstone National Park herd and, thanks to science implemented at CSU by Assistant Professor Jennifer Barfield and her team, the animals are also disease-free.

“We are proud to continue our mission of collaborating with conservationists through this new partnership with Catalina Island Conservancy,” said Barfield, a reproductive physiologist.

“We look forward to watching our animals find a new home with the herd on Catalina Island, where they can contribute to the growth of a truly unique and iconic herd.”

Bison have freely roamed Catalina Island since 1924.

Fourteen bison were brought to the island for the filming of an adaptation of a Zane Grey novel, believed to be “The Vanishing American.”

There are currently approximately 100 bison on Catalina Island, off the coast of California.

The new animals will integrate into Catalina Island’s free-ranging bison herd and are expected to give birth in the spring.

“With goals of maintaining the health of the land and providing public benefit, Catalina Island Conservancy maintains its three-part mission of conservation, education and recreation.

“The bison population is a key example of this delicate balance,” said Tony Budrovich, Conservancy president and CEO .

“The unique opportunity to see American bison on Catalina Island brings wildlife lovers from around the world to learn about a species they might otherwise not have a chance to see roam.

“While here, they also learn about Catalina’s endemic species, special Mediterranean climate and importance of conservation.”

With its location close to urban areas, Catalina provides a gateway to nature for a diverse population to experience and learn about wildlife and nature just steps away from home.

The best way to view bison is through a Conservancy Eco Tour.

Bison are wild animals. People should stay at least 125 feet away from bison at all times. Info Courtesy of Catalina Island Company

Francie M Berg

Author of the Buffalo Tales &Trails blog

Wood Bison Reintroduced In Southwest Alaska See Another Year Of Loss, But With A Silver Lining

Wood Bison Reintroduced In Southwest Alaska See Another Year Of Loss, But With A Silver Lining

Wood buffalo in Alaska, ADF&Game

(From Alaska Public Radio)

An experimental wood bison herd introduced to the western Interior region five years ago experienced a decline this year due to harsh winter weather, but scientists say there’s still some good news.

According to a population survey conducted in June, there are 94 bison, including nine calves, in the population, which lives largely along the lower Yukon River. The population has declined by 19 animals since last year’s survey.

Biologist Tom Seaton attributes the decline to deep snow and cold temperatures late last winter in March and April. Bison need to eat grass to replenish the nutritional reserves they’ve depleted over the long winter, when layers of snow and ice prevented the animals from eating plants. Some could not survive.

The bison, which are native to the area, were reintroduced with enthusiastic local support in 2015. Since they were introduced, the population grew for three years and declined for two years. The declines align with harsh late winter conditions like those seen recently.

The good news is that the 2020 decline was less dramatic than the one in 2018, when there was a winter with similarly harsh conditions. That shows that the bison may be adapting to these conditions and learning to survive despite the challenging weather, said Seaton.

He said the bison have developed numerous skills since they were released from captivity: They’ve learned to navigate their range, avoid predators and find the best food.

Seaton says he sees the population as well-established at this point. And he expects that barring unusually harsh weather conditions, the population will continue to grow in the future.

Alaska News Nightly: Tues, Oct 20, 2020

Oct 21, KUAC

Francie M Berg

Author of the Buffalo Tales &Trails blog

NBA reminds us “Save the Date!”

NBA reminds us “Save the Date!”

Dakota Territory Buffalo Association buffalo await Girlz Gone Wild auction in Rapid City. DTBA.

  • 12/05/2020 – Kansas Buffalo Association Annual Production Sale – KS
  • 12/05/2020 – Western Bison Association Meeting and Show/Sale – UT
  • 12/8/2020 – Northern Range Buffalo Simulcast Consignment Auction – SD
  • 12/19/2020 – North Dakota Buffalo Assn. Meeting/Simulcast Auction – ND
  • 1/02/2020 – Prairie Legends Bison Auction – NE
  • 1/08/2021 – Montana Bison Assn. Winter Conference – MT
  • 1/9/2021 – Turner Bison Exchange Prairie Performance Auction – SD
  • 2/19/2021 – NBA – DTBA Joint Winter Conference – Rapid City, SD/Online
  • 2/20/2021 – NBA GTSS & DTBA Girlz Going Wild Auction – Rapid City, SD/Online
  • 6/27/2021 – National Bison Assn. Summer Conference – Cheyenne, WY

Please visit the National Bison Association at for details and more up-to-date events. If you have a bison event coming up that’s not listed, please send the details to and the NBA will post the event on its website at no charge.

Francie M Berg

Author of the Buffalo Tales &Trails blog

GTSS, NBA Winter Conference Rescheduled to Rapid City

GTSS, NBA Winter Conference Rescheduled to Rapid City


Meeting in special session in October, the National Bison Association Board of Directors approved committee recommendations to reschedule both the Gold Trophy Show & Sale, and the association’s Winter Conference until February 19 – 20, 2021.

Both events to be held in conjunction with the Dakota Territory Buffalo Association’s annual meeting and sale in Rapid City, SD.

In a unanimous vote, the board determined that the annual GTSS would be held at the Rapid City fairgrounds, in conjunction with DTBA’s performance tested yearling heifer auction. Under the agreement developed by the NBA and DTBA, GTSS animals would be transported to the fairgrounds on February 18th, and judged on February 19th

The NBA event will not include any yearling female entries in order not to conflict with DTBA’s performance-tested Girlz Going Wild yearling heifer sale. Animals from the NBA and DTBA will be housed at the Rapid City fairgrounds, but will be sold through a virtual, live-streamed video auction event. 

The NBA board also agreed to adopt a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DTBA to hold a two-day conference on February 19 and 20 at the Ramkota hotel in Rapid City.

The abbreviated conference will include virtual streaming for members who want to participate, but who do not want to attend in person.

The MOU specifies how each organization will share in the expenses and revenue from that meeting. The MOU had been recommended for approval by the NBA Winter Conference Planning Committee.

Following discussion on the issue, the board adopted a motion “to move forward with the Winter Conference Committees recommendation, and approve the Memorandum of Understanding, and that the NBA and its leadership implement appropriate steps to protect the health and safety of attendees.”

Look for details on both events to be announced in the coming weeks.

Francie M Berg

Author of the Buffalo Tales &Trails blog

Virtual Bison Learning Webinar replaces NBA Summer Conference

Virtual Bison Learning Webinar replaces NBA Summer Conference

The National Bison Association kicked off its inaugural webinar series—in lieu of its postponed 2020 Summer Conference—and now has all three sessions ready for review, free to members only.

The first day of the seminar focuses on the bison marketplace in the age of COVID-19. Eight presenters shared their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities presented by outlets such as Farmer’s Markets, restaurants, grocery stores, food trucks and the internet. People are interested in local foods and increasingly want to buy bison meat, they said. Consumers want to know where their food is coming from and who is producing it.

The second day was filled with information from experienced ranchers on bison management, regenerative soils, production and conservation. Day 3 of NBA’s Virtual Learning seminar provided information from a number of young ranchers on how they got started and are growing their bison herds.

The three webinars, sponsored by Turner Bison Exchange, the 777 Bison Ranch and AgriPrime, are archived in the member’s area of in the Conference Presentation section, where members can view past NBA conference presentations in addition to these.

“Thanks to our sponsors and excellent speakers for sharing their time and expertise, who made this foray into remote learning a huge success!” says NBA Director Dave Carter and Jim Matheson, Assistant Director.

“While we would obviously prefer to meet in person, we hope we were able to exhibit our education and outreach efforts to NBA members who may have not attended a NBA conference before, and hope to see you all in person sooner than later!”

From the National Bison Association,; contact, (303) 292-2833.

Francie M Berg

Author of the Buffalo Tales &Trails blog

NBA 2021 Winter Conference—Cancelled

NBA 2021 Winter Conference—Cancelled

NOTICE: NBA 2021 Winter Conference Will Not Take Place in Denver in January – Please stay tuned while we determine the best option for our membership.

“Gold trophy, and our annual meeting are important events, not only for the NBA, but for the bison business,” said Donnis Baggett, president of the National Bison Association.

“The board is working to develop plans in which we can meet these needs safely, while providing an opportunity for members to connect this winter.”

For more information contact Jim Matheson at, or (303) 292-2833,

Bison Show and Sale was planned for Jan 20-23, 2021

  • 1/20 – 1/23/2021 – National Bison Winter Conference—Denver, CO
  • 1/23/2021 – NBA Gold Trophy Show and Sale—Denver.

The National Bison Association recently announced that the National Bison Winter Conference would take place in Denver, Colorado, Jan. 20 to 23, 2021, and at the same time, NBA’s Gold Trophy Show and Sale (GTSS) would be held.

The Gold Trophy (GTSS) is considered the premier bison auction in the US. For nearly 40 years, bison producers have brought their best bison stock to Denver’s National Western Stock Show to show and sell their animals.

“The mission of the Gold Trophy Show and Sale is to create an environment where producers can compete to establish the value of their bison in the current marketplace,” according to the NBA news release.

“The sale features high quality, judged breeding stock as well as top-notch production animals that are sure to perform back at the ranch.

“The GTSS also features its popular Market Class auction, in which the public can come and bid on top quality, all natural bison carcasses to be processed into packaged meat to your specifications.”









Francie M Berg

Author of the Buffalo Tales &Trails blog

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