Writing for USA Today, Ted Roosevelt V said, "At the turn of the 20th century, the United States found itself for the first time at the crossroads of consumption and conservation. With the Pacific Ocean blocking our westward expansion, America had finally achieved its "manifest destiny." That realization brought about a recognition that the voracious use of natural resources could not go on indefinitely. Nowhere was that understanding made plainer than in the decimation of the American bison.

This magnificent animal —North America's largest land mammal — had survived more than 12,000 years on our continent. Once ubiquitous, the bison, or buffalo, covered territory extending from California to the Atlantic and from Mexico up to Canada. Its grazing over the centuries literally shaped our great plains, while providing food, shelter and clothing for generations of indigenous peoples who revered this mighty animal for the bounty it provided."

To continue reading Ted Roosevelt V's piece about making the bison our country's national mammal, visit USA Today.