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Give Kansas back to the buffalo?
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Dear Editor,
I read the article in The Great Bend Tribune: “Home on the Range: Bison removed from Brit Spaugh Zoo”.
With Gov. Sam Brownback convening an animal health summit, I wish that he, the Kansas Legislature, and citizens at-large would propose and encourage a bison refuge near the town of Bison in Rush County, just slightly northwest of Great Bend.
While I understand that the bison were removed from the soo at Great Bend and relocated to a 30,000 acreage in Nebraska, for health reasons, I still feel that Kansas should encourage more natural open-space refuges for bison to roam on the Kansas plains.
Kansas needs to encourage more veterinarians to move into western Kansas and farmers and ranchers should have incentives to build double-fence areas or buffer zones to separate cattle from buffalo being nose-to-nose with each other in close proximity; thereby reducing the spread of the disease brucellosis.
The so-called billionaire (on paper) Ted Turner has a vast amount of land in Montana and elsewhere, which is home to an excess number of bison in distant states such as Montana.
I believe that the mighty, majestic creatures should not be limited, restricted or relegated to a handful of preserves, nor under the thumb of a handful of owners or curators, but given more places to roam as Mother Nature intended, in places like Bison, and all across the great American plains. The name “bison” should not be left to the dustbin of history with an asterisk beside the name denoting its historical connection with buffalo or bison.
I think we should see a re-population of buffalo on the Kansas plains, so towns like Bison, Olmitz, Otis, Hoisington and even Great Bend, would have an on-going place amongst the future animal sanctuaries of Kansas.
James A. Marples,