Conservationist aims to replace old bridge with bison preserve

Conservationist aims to replace old bridge with bison preserve

Sketch of possible future wildlife crossing links Iowa and Illinois across Mississippi. Photo credit Bison Bridge Foundation.

To benefit environment and spotlight Native American history

Between Iowa and Illinois, spanning a stretch of Mississippi River that flows from east to west, sits an exhausted 55-year-old concrete bridge. Each day 42,000 cars drive across the ageing structure, which is slated to be torn down and replaced.

But when Chad Pregracke looks at the bridge, he has a different vision entirely—not an old overpass to be demolished, but a home for the buffalo to roam.

The conservationist and local hero hails from the Quad Cities, a 300,000-person metropolitan area spanning two states on either side of the Mississippi River. It is known for its four cities: Bettendorf and Davenport in south-eastern Iowa and Moline and Rock Island in northwestern Illinois.

Pregracke spends months every year living on barges and cleaning up refuse from the Mississippi and he has brought his passion for the river to his latest project: converting the ailing bridge into a buffalo preserve. The idea came to him four years ago as he drove across the bridge one day, he says: “I thought, what if we made this a wildlife crossing?”

Now, his unlikely vision is being taken seriously. The departments of transportation in Iowa and Illinois are considering the proposal, which would break ground in as little as five years.

If completed, the bridge would become the longest human-made wildlife crossing in the world. The plan would see a new bridge built further down the river, where car traffic will be rerouted, and the existing bridge converted for use by humans and American bison—colloquially known as buffalo.

On one side would stand a pedestrian path and bike path and on the other an enclosed bison paddock that would let visitors see eye to eye with the huge creatures. The herds would be free to roam between Iowa and Illinois in the grassy expanse, and the project would establish the first national park in either state.
(The Guardian: Kari Paul Jun 27, 2021 06.00 EDT, https://apple.news/AFHknhgUCSwWPYZSwqri7zA)

Francie M Berg

Author of the Buffalo Tales &Trails blog

BSC Bison Symposium Agenda

https://bismarckstate.edu/events/Dakota-Bison-Symposium/

Welcome! We are looking forward to hosting Bismarck State College’s 5th symposium in 2021. We appreciate your interest and hope you will join us in September.

**To Register for Bismarck State College Dakota Bison Symposium,
Call 701-224-5600, or click HERE:

BSC Bison Symposium Agenda

Day 1—Bismarck State College and the North Dakota Heritage Center (Breakfast, lunch, reception appetizers provided)
Day 2—Tours to Southwestern North Dakota and Northwestern South Dakota (lunch, dinner provided)
Day 3United Tribes Technical College (lunch provided)

The past, present, and future of the American Bison impacts us all more than we probably realize.

 Mark your calendar for the Dakota Bison Symposium, an event that will educate and inform attendees on the American Bison through presentations, conversations, film, art, tours, exhibits, music, dancing, and culinary art. Bismarck State College will host this event September 16–18, 2021 in Bismarck, North Dakota.

This event is the fifth in a series of symposia led by the college to promote the arts, humanities, and history through major topics that shape our culture and heritage as a state and nation, promote mutual respect for diverse beliefs, and broaden our understanding of humanity.

Registration fees are listed below and registration is open!
September 16 only—$65 (includes light breakfast, lunch & evening reception)
September 17 only—$45 (includes bus transportation, lunch, snacks, Bison dinner)

September 16-17—$99
September 18 only—$35 (includes lunch; transportation not provided)
September 16, 17, 18—$125

Save 10% on registration with your OLLI @ BSC membership!
bismarckstate.edu/OLLI

Agenda (BSC Campus)

Thursday, September 16, 2021

7:00 am           Onsite check-in; Registration
    National Energy Center of Excellence, BSC

7:45 am           Welcome, Dr. Doug Jensen,
    Bismarck State College President

8:00 am           Bison: From Whence They Come
    John Eagle Sr., Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

8:45 am           Why Does the Bison Matter?
    Dan Flores, Author, A. B. Hammond
    Professor Emeritus of the History of the American West at the University of Montana-Missoula

9:30 am           Break/Book Signing

10:00 am         The Bison Arrival to North America
    Dr. Duane Froese, University of Alberta

10:45 am         Cultural and Historical Significance of the American Bison
    Dakota Goodhouse, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, United Tribes Technical College

11:30 am         Lunch & Field Trip Synopsis
    Francie Berg, author
    Cody Two Bears, Indigenous Energy

12:45 pm         Destruction of the Bison
    Andrew C. Isenberg, University of Kansas

1:30 pm           Return of the Bison: A Panel Discussion
    Arnell D. Abold, Oglala Lakota (Sioux), Executive Director for the InterTribal Buffalo Council
    Jason Baldes, Eastern Shoshone, Wind River native
    Corissa Busse, The Nature Conservancy
    Brendan Moynahan, National Park Service/Dept. of Interior’s Bison Working Group

3:00 pm           Break/Book Signing

3:30 pm           Bison and Healthy Indian Communities:, A Panel Discussion
    Scott J. Davis, Executive Director of Indian Affairs, Sanford Health – Moderator
    Donald Warne, Indians Into Medicine (INMED) & Public Health Programs at UND
    Melissa Sobolik, President, Great Plains Food Bank
    Chairman Mike Faith, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
    Lorraine Davis, President and CEO, Native American Development Center

6:30 pm           Reception and Dance by Kevin Locke
    North Dakota Heritage Center

7:00 pm           Film Viewing Bring Them Home (Documentary)
    Iniskim (fiction film) Produced by Daniel Glick

Friday, September 17, 2021 (Day Trip)

7:15 am           Check-in, Bus Assignments

7: 45 am          Buses Depart BSC

9:00 am           Kokomo Sculpture Gallery, Petrified Park (Lemmon, SD)
    Shadehill Buffalo Jump

11:45 am         Lunch, Shadehill Recreation Area

1:45 pm           Johnson Buffalo Herd, Jim Strand Herdsman
    Hiddenwood Hunt Historic Site

4:30 pm          Last Stand – Sitting Bull Hunt

5:30 pm           Buffalo Dinner, Dakota Buttes Museum (Hettinger, ND)

7:30 pm           Depart for BSC/Bismarck

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Events scheduled for United Tribes Technical College

8:30 am           Check-in

9:00 am           Opening Prayer

9:15 am           Significance of the Buffalo for Ocethi Sakowin & Local Nations

10:00 am         Indigenous Singing & Dance Performance

10:15 am         Dignitaries Speak –
    Political leaders, representatives from multiple tribal nations & other dignitaries

10:30 am         Indigenous Singing & Dance Performance

12:00 pm         Buffalo Lunch – prepared in traditional Northern Plains Indigenous way

Local Indigenous art vendors onsite from 10 am – 1 pm

 bscdakotabison.com

     **To Register for Bismarck State College Dakota Bison Symposium,

         Call 701-224-5600, or click HERE:

Selection of Confirmed Speakers

Francie M. Berg is a teacher, historian and author of 17 books, with strong homestead and ranching roots in the Old West. Born at home in the Missouri River Breaks, she grew up on a Montana ranch and lives in Hettinger, North Dakota, within a few miles of her grandparents’ South Dakota homestead and the center of a fascinating buffalo heritage of which she writes in Buffalo Trails in the Dakota Buttes and its companion book Buffalo Heartbeats Across the Plains.

For over 35 years she has been researching buffalo, read most all the books on the subject, visited many public, commercial and tribal herds, talked and visited with bison ranchers, climbed some of the most famous buffalo jumps in the Rocky Mountains, US and Canada, and wrote three books about buffalo. Her other books on western history include: Montana Stirrups, Sage & Shenanigans, North Dakota Land of Changing Seasons, South Dakota Land of Shining Gold, Wyoming Land of Echoing Canyons and Ethnic Heritage in North Dakota.

Francie Berg has worked as a county extension agent, and taught high school, college and adult education.  A licensed nutritionist and graduate of Montana State University in Bozeman, she has a master’s degree in Family Social Studies and Anthropology from the University of Minnesota.

Books on Buffalo include: Buffalo Heartbeats Across the Plains, winner of three national awards, Buffalo Trails in the Dakota Buttes, a Self-Guided Tour, and The Last Great Buffalo Hunts: Traditional Hunts in 1880-1883 by Teton Lakota (back ordered).

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Dr. Duane Froese is Canada Research Chair in Northern Environmental Change at the University of Alberta, and has been working on the fossil record of Ice Age mammals in Northern Canada and Alaska for the last 25 years.  His research group focuses on environmental changes in the North, and undrstanding the ecosystems that supported the diverse grazing megafauna of Ice Age North America.

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Dan Flores: A native of Louisiana and currently a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, he has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and numerous magazines. He is the author of ten books, most recently American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains, the Stubbendieck Distinguished Book Prize winner in 2017, and Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History, which is a New York Times Bestseller, winner of the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award, and a 2017 Finalist for PEN America’s E. O. Wilson Prize in Literary Science Writing. His current project, “Wild New World: America’s Animals Confront Humanity” is a big history of the human/wild animal story and will be published by W. W. Norton in 2022.

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Dakota Wind Goodhouse is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Goodhouse has a B.A. in Theology and a M.A. in History. He is a PhD candidate at NDSU in History. Goodhouse teaches U.S. History and Native American Studies at United Tribes Technical College. He is the editor and writer of “The First Scout,” a blog about the history and culture of the Northern Plains.

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Daniel Glick is an Emmy-winning director, producer, writer, cinematographer and editor who has worked on projects of all types including documentaries, narrative films, comedies, commercials and web series.

These projects have garnered more than a dozen awards and span a range of topics that Daniel is passionate about: social justice, indigenous rights, wildlife, the arts, science, conservation, and prison reform.

His diverse range of clients have included The Wilderness Society, LL Bean, FICO, Wildlife Conservation Society, National Parks Conservation Association, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and Colliers International.

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Andrew Isenberg is the Hall Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of Kansas.  He is the author, co-author, or editor of seven books, including The Destruction of the Bison:  An Environmental History, 1750-1920 (2000; second edition, 2020); Mining California:  An Ecological History (2005); and Wyatt Earp:  A Vigilante Life (2013).

From his book The Destruction of the Bison, “The interaction between Indians and Euroamericans in the western plains created bison hunters on both sides of the encounter:  notably equestrian Indian nomads and Euroamerican hide hunters.  By the second half of the nineteenth century… Indians and Euroamericans were engaged in a destructive battle over control of resources in the plains.”

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The Dakota Bison Symposium will draw a diverse audience from across the state and region September 16-18, 2021, to experience and learn about the American Bison through presentations, panel discussions, film, art, tours, exhibits, music, dancing, and culinary arts. This three-day event is the fifth in a series of symposia led by the BSC to promote the arts, humanities, and history through major topics that shape our culture and heritage as a state and nation, promote mutual respect for diverse beliefs and broaden our understanding of humanity.

Presentations will be chronological, beginning with ancient origins of the bison and arrival to North America; the cultural and historical significance of the bison to Native American peoples and settlers; the exploitation and destruction of the bison; and modern efforts to re-introduce and conserve bison herds from both a Native American and farming/ranching perspective, as well as health benefits of the return of the bison to Native American communities.

The Dakota Bison Symposium—September 16-18, 2021. A symposium to explore the rich history of the bison, see its impact on where we are today and learn about the opportunities that are waiting in the near future. We hope you can join us—registration is open!

http://bscdakotabison.com/

A 3-day event to discuss the history, near destruction and remarkable revitalization of the Bison, and how it has played a staring role in living traditions and art from ancient to modern times.

 

Adams County Prepares for BSC Bison Symposium Tour

Viewing hint: To enlarge type simply hold down your Control key and roll the wheel on the mouse.

Adams County Record, July 15, 2021 by Frank Turner, editor, with permission

Thank you to our confirmed Sponsors & Partners!

Bismarck State College has been approved for a $30,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the college’s 2021 Dakota Bison Symposium. This project is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding. 

As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as Bismarck State College reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”

Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as Bismarck State College reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”

The Dakota Bison Symposium will be an event that brings a diverse audience from across the state and region to experience and learn about the American Bison through presentations, panel discussions, film, art, tours, exhibits, music, dancing, and culinary arts. This three-day event is planned for September 16-18, 2021 in Bismarck, North Dakota. This event is the fifth in a series of symposia led by the college to promote the arts, humanities and history through major topics that shape our culture and heritage as a state and nation, promote mutual respect for diverse beliefs, and broaden our understanding of humanity.

“This is an exciting and enriching event that we are proud to be hosting on our campus with a great number of partners and stakeholders,” said BSC President Doug Jensen. “We look forward to working with the Arts Endowment on this endeavor.”

 Agenda details and registration for the event are available online at bismarckstate.edu/dakotabisonsymposium 

For more information on the projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

Sponsors

Sponsorship is a great opportunity to become involved in the Dakota Bison Symposium,
the 5th Symposia offered by Bismarck State College. Sponsor level details below:

Gold sponsor                                              $5,000

  • Full color 1/4 page ad in the Symposium program book.
  • Social media recognition.
  • Company logo included on rolling screen between speakers.
  • Verbal name recognition during program.
  • Logo recognition on Sponsorship signage during Symposium.
  • Symposium sessions will be streamed to schools, and the stream will feature Gold company logos.
  • Logo recognition on website linked to your company’s homepage.
  • Priority seating at Symposium for complimentary registrations.
  • Four complimentary registrations to the full symposium, including Thursday evening speakers and Friday/Saturday tours.
  • Name tags will indicate Sponsorship level.

Silver Sponsor                                          $2,500

  • Company name listed in program book.
  • Verbal name recognition during program.
  • Social media recognition.
  • Company name recognition included on rolling screen between speakers.
  • Company name recognition on Sponsorship signage during Symposium.
  • Recognition on website linked to your company’s homepage.
  • Priority seating at Symposium for complimentary registrations.
  • Four complimentary registrations to the full Symposium, including Thursday evening speakers and Friday/Saturday tours. 
  • Name tags at Symposium will indicate Sponsorship.

Supporting Sponsor                                                                        $1,000

  • Program book listing with company name and logo.
  • Company logo included on rolling screen between speakers.
  • Logo recognition on Sponsorship signage during Symposium.
  • Logo recognition on website linked to your company’s homepage.
  • Two complimentary registrations to the full Symposium, including Thursday evening speakers and Friday/Saturday tours. 
  • Nametags at Symposium will indicate sponsorship.

Community Sponsor                                                 $500

  • Program book listing with company name and logo.
  • Company logo included on rolling screen between speakers.
  • Logo recognition on Sponsorship signage during Symposium.
  • Logo recognition on website linked to your company’s homepage.
  • One complimentary registration to the Thursday’s Symposium events.

Name tags at Symposium will indicate sponsorship.

Francie M Berg

Author of the Buffalo Tales &Trails blog

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