The story has been told again and again: During the late 1800s, hunters all but wiped out one of the continent’s most iconic animals, the American bison. By the beginning of the 20th century, a species of huge ecological and cultural value had vanished from the prairie, surviving only in small, captive herds and a remnant population in Yellowstone National Park.
In the late 1800s, two Montana ranchers spent more than 20 years assembling one of the largest herds of purebred bison on the continent. In 1907, after the U.S. government declined to buy the herd, they made a deal with the Canadian government and shipped most of these bison northward to Elk Island National Park.
Now, the descendants of these bison are returning to their ancestral home in northern Montana. The American Prairie Foundation is working on restoring a vast amount of prairie to its natural state. This film follows the process of moving these bison and the challenges encountered along the way.
These animals also belong in the public lands and parks of far-West Texas, to which they are native.