STATEMENT: Biden administration announces plan to restore bison, grasslands

Media Contacts
Susan Holmes

Former Director, Save America’s Wildlife Campaign, Environment America

Order from Secretary of Interior will protect biodiversity, climate

WASHINGTON – Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced Friday a new plan to promote the proliferation of bison and simultaneously protect America’s native grasslands. The secretarial order will commit $25 million from the Inflation Reduction Act to foster collaboration on these issues between federal agencies and with tribes, states and landowners.

Environment America applauded the move, noting that Haaland’s secretarial order will both benefit native biodiversity (including the iconic bison) and enhance some of our best natural weapons to fight climate change. 

Wild bison once numbered some 30-60 million in the Great Plains. Now, only 20,000 or so of America’s largest land animals roam in conservation herds. 

In response, Environment America’s Wildlife Campaigns Director Susan Holmes released the following statement: 

“In the imagination of many Americans, the Great Plains is a home, where the bison should roam. With Secretary Haaland’s announcement, we come closer to that vision. 

“Bison and grasslands belong together. Bison hooves agitate and break up the grass and soil, helping new plants flourish and making grasslands and entire ecosystems healthier. 

“It’s critical that we protect and restore America’s grasslands, which provide vital habitats for native pollinators, millions of migrating birds and endangered species. Intact grasslands are an important climate change-fighting tool, too. As the climate warms, grasslands hold and store carbon. 

“We are thrilled to see Secretary Haaland’s plan to restore grasslands and help our national mammal, the bison.”