Advertisement

House approves bill making bison a national symbol

By Shawn Price
House approves bill making bison a national symbol
The House passed the National Bison Legacy Act that designates the animal that most Americans call buffalo as a national symbol along side the bald eagle. The large mammal spent much of the 20th Century near extinction until conservation efforts began to turn things around. The bill is expected to pass the Senate this week and be signed soon by President Barack Obama. Photo by Tom Wall/USFWS

WASHINGTON, April 28 (UPI) -- The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill naming the bison a "historical symbol," and moving it closer to being an official national symbol.

The National Bison Legacy Act was passed in a bipartisan effort, and is expected to be passed in the Senate this week and signed by President Barack Obama. The legislation will move the animal that most Americans call buffalo, and was once near extinction in the late 1800s, into equal status with the bald eagle as a symbol of the country.

Advertisement

"The bison will serve as a great national symbol for the United States as it is as strong as the oak, fearless as the bald eagle and inspiring as a rose," said Cristian Samper, Wildlife Conservation Society president.

The bald eagle has been the national symbol of the country since 1782. The national tree is the oak, and the rose is the nation's national flower.

Samper said the making the bison a national emblem will be a major turning point in efforts to "prevent the bison from going extinct and to recognize the bison's ecological, cultural, historical and economic importance to the United States."

Advertisement

The legislation to have the bison designated a national symbol is also a major triumph for conservationists, ranchers and Native American groups. Bison have become good business for some ranchers and the mammal remains a powerful figure in tribal cultural beliefs.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement