Educating the community on how Bison’s shape landscapes

Updated: May. 20, 2022 at 6:40 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks held a ribbon cutting at the bison center in Custer State Park on Friday...the first park of its kind in South Dakota

Nearly fourteen hundred bison roam freely throughout Custer State Park, making it the largest publicly owned bison herd. Now lies the first of its kind center which will provide future generations with knowledge on how Bison help shape landscapes.

Matt Snyder, Superintendent for Custer State park says that Bison help shape landscapes

He states “When they’re on the range, bison basically do a good job...from a range, ecology standpoint turning up the soils. Their hooves in that when they are driving around and basically can actually aerate the soil and create production of forage to keep growing.”

With help from the Leona M. and Harry B Hemsley Charitable Trust, Custer State Park received four million dollars toward the Bison Center, a donation that will help educate future generations.

Snyder says “Just what the Bison do, why we have Bison, what the Bison mean to our past culture and what they mean for the current culture. Just that iconic figure that they are...and then kids can come in and learn the biology of a Bison. What’s their stomach like, how long doesn’t it take before a calve is born...all that good information. It’s what they see here and can experience.

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