For many, plains bison are the embodiment of wildness and the pre-settlement American West. After millenia of evolution through natural selection, however, the species was nearly exterminated, only to be subjected to domestication for more than 100 years. Domestication alters the bison genome through inbreeding, crossing with cattle genes, shrinking genetic diversity and artificial selection. These forces continue to replace natural selection and valued wild characteristics of bison. Does the future hold only continued domestication for plains bison in the United States?

With a view from over 50 years in the profession of wildlife biology, Bailey probes this and other questions in his original analysis of 44 conservation bison herds on native range in the United States. He focuses upon the gray area between wildness and domestication and sheds light on domesticating practices of Native American and government agencies, as well as commercial producers. He challenges the profession of wildlife management to expand its views of opportunities for manipulating wildlife populations. For bison, Bailey makes a strong case for creating large reserves to restore wild bison and their natural contributions to our grassland ecosystems.

Jim Bailey was professor of wildlife biology at Colorado State University for 20 years, teaching big-game management and wildlife nutrition. His first book was Principles of Wildlife Management. In retirement, he became interested in the management of bison in Yellowstone National Park. This led to his survey of the conservation status of bison in the United States and reassessment of wildlife management's influences upon the future evolution of large wild mammals.

 

You can purchase a copy of American Plains Bison, Rewilding An Icon,
at the following locations:

Bozeman - Country Bookshelf, 28 W. Main, Bozeman, MT 406-587-0166

Helena - Montana Book & Toy Co., 331 N. Last Chance Gulch, Helena, MT 406-443-0260

Missoula - Fact & Fiction Downtown, 220 N Higgins, Missoula, MT 406-721-2881; University Center, 5 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT (in The Bookstore at UM) 406-243-1234

Missoula - The Book Exchange, 2335 Brooks St., Missoula, MT 406-728-6342

Check with your local book seller, you can ask them to contact Farcountry Press at
1-800-821-3874, or order from them directly.

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