Bison belong in Banff National Park and they will be returning here soon in early 2017.
For a variety of reasons we almost wiped the Plains bison off the face of the Earth.
The Plains bison (Bison bison) were saved from extinction just in the nick of time. Through the far-sighted efforts of Canadians and Americans, of both First Nations and European descent, the species was saved with sufficient genetic diversity to have a future.
Banff lost its bison from the wild in the 1870s. Then it served as an early refuge where a few survivors from diverse areas were brought into a paddock near town to be sheltered and marveled at. To help ensure the survival of the species, Banff people initiated the purchase and conservation of the largest herd descended from wild Plains buffalo.
Banff has always been a leading actor in the life and death drama of the buffalo.
Now Banff National Park is at the vanguard of restoration of Plains bison to the wild so they can once again perform an ecological role in the landscape.