Wildlife Management - Conservationists and Hunters Rally to Protect Wildlife

Historic photography of multiple bison in a field
Bison Herd

NPS Photo

Recognizing the Problem

Late in the 1800s, the plight of the bison attracted the attention of conservationists and hunting organizations. They witnessed the extinction of many species such as the passenger pigeon and the eastern elk. They wanted to make certain that other animals would not follow the same path.

Taking Action

Organizations such as the American Bison Society and the Boone and Crockett Club began raising funds and seeking out lands where bison and other animals could be restored. In 1911, Wind Cave National Park and the surrounding area was selected as a place to start bison, elk, and pronghorn on the road to recovery.

Black and white photography of bison heard in a field, one bull features prominently in the foreground
Bull Bison

NPS Photo

A New Home

The rolling plains and ponderosa pine forest of Wind Cave National Park were superb habitats for prairie animals. The prairie, with its seemingly endless sea of grasses, was perfect for grazing. The forests provided shelter. The American Bison Society purchased lands adjoining the park and in 1912, a bill was passed in Congress creating the Wind Cave National Game Preserve.


Last updated: December 11, 2018

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26611 US Highway 385
Hot Springs, SD 57747


(605) 745-4600

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