Tribal Council of Oglala Sioux Tribe approves Ranch Advisory’s buffalo feasibility study
Posted on: Jun 21, 2013
On June 19, the Tribal Council of the Oglala Sioux Tribe approved the buffalo expansion study written by Ranch Advisory Partners. This paves the way for buffalo introduction into what will become the nation's first Tribal National Park in the Badlands of South Dakota.
The study examined the feasibility of running 1000+ head of buffalo in the "South Unit" of Badlands National Park, a 133,000-acre tract of land that is slated to become our nation's first Tribal National Park. The Park will be administered by the National Park Service, but will allow the Tribe to run buffalo within its boundaries.
To complete the study, Ranch Advisory worked closely with Oglala Sioux Tribe officials, the National Park Service, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to examine soils, vegetation, carrying capacity, grazing strategies, infrastructure requirements, herd structure, and financial management for the new buffalo herd. This herd, which may help the Department of the Interior satisfy its objective of having 3 herds of buffalo numbering more than 1000 head roaming the Great Plains, is intended to be a free-roaming, "conservation herd." The Tribe will own the buffalo, and will be able to hunt and sell the animals on the Park. Ranch Advisory created the framework for blending ecology, finance, and cultural desires for the buffalo.
With this action, the Tribe took a bold step toward enabling the Tribal National Park, and we wish them well in these efforts.
The Tribal Ordinance authorizing the land to be set aside for buffalo may be seen here.