First it was the $20 bill, now President Barack Obama is ready to replace the bald eagle, which has been America’s national animal and mascot for 234 years!
The National Bison Legacy Act, which is expected to pass in the United State Senate, would denote the bison as America’s national mammal and a “historical symbol of the United States.”
This means that while the bald eagle can still represent America, it will no longer be the only animal to do so.
It’s now up to the president to sign the legislation, which would officially put the behemoth animals on an equal level with the Bald Eagle, which is the nation’s official bird.
Millions of bison used to roam the Great Plains, though populations were decimated during the Indian Wars to deprive Native Americans of their food sources, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Today, bison populations have rebounded, but never come close to amassing their former numbers.
Designating the bison as the national mammal, recognizes the important role the animals have played in the story of our nation, Keith Aune, Wildlife Conservation Society Senior Conservationist and Bison Program Coordinator, said in a statement.
“The passage of this bill not only recognizes the historic significance of bison but signals the beginning of a grand American adventure to carry out ecological, economic and cultural restoration of American bison into the future,” Aune said.
Via USA Today
The bison was almost extinct in the late 19th century, but thanks to commercial herds there are now more than 400,000, in addition to the 30,000 in the wild.
As Rep. William Lacy Clay (R-MO), one of the sponsors of the bill explained, “No other indigenous species tells America’s story better.” And, it’s “an enduring symbol of strength, Native American culture, and the boundless Western wildness.”
Bison could be elevated to a stature approaching that of the bald eagle https://t.co/KHKl4ChUEo
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) April 30, 2016
Bison is already the official state mammal of of Wyoming, in addition to the official state animals of Kansas and Oklahoma.
And they are tasty too!
What do you think about elevating the bison as America’s mammal? Please leave us a comment (below) and tell us.