Via Belwin Conservancy:
Belwin Conservancy is excited to announce that a herd of 40 bison from NorthStar Bison in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, will be released onto Belwin’s prairie at a free public event on Saturday, May 20. This is the ninth year that a herd will spend their summer grazing 120 acres of prairie at Belwin.
Each year since 2008, a crowd has gathered to welcome the bison to their summer home, growing larger each year. Last year, more than 1,000 people turned out to witness the bison release and celebrate the majesty of the United States’ first national mammal charging across the prairie landscape.
“Our relationship with Belwin is really the heartbeat of NorthStar and what bison, as a species, is all about: Restoration and regeneration. Restoring healthy ecosystems, healthy people and, ultimately, a healthy, thriving species. When you have that, everyone wins,” says Sean Graese of NorthStar Bison.
For Belwin, the bison play a critical role in its land management and restoration activities. “Since I became the land and facilities manager at Belwin, I’ve seen that the bison actually do a better job managing the prairie than anything we humans can do,” says Justin Sykora. “The response of the flowers and grasses has been better than we could have hoped. The diversity of the prairie has greatly improved since the bison have been coming. They are modifying our management strategy.”
The Bison Release event on May 20 opens at 11:00 a.m. with the release taking place at 12:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and will include family-friendly activities, educational displays, food from Afton Alps Food Truck and Afton House Inn, and NorthStar Bison burger and brat samples and frozen bison meat for sale. Complete event details, including parking and shuttle information, can be found at www.belwin.org/events/219/.
Those unable to attend the Bison Release event may visit the bison on their prairie home throughout the summer via the bison observation platform, open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. More information can be found at www.belwin.org/bison/directions/.