WASHINGTON, D.C. (NOVEMBER 4, 2016) The American Bison Coalition, on behalf of its steering members is joining scores of bison-friendly groups, organizations and businesses around the country this month to celebrate our country’s first National Bison Day since the North American bison was officially adopted as the U.S. National Mammal. Begun by the InterTribal Buffalo Council, National Bison Association and Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Bison Coalition is dedicated to valuing our National Mammal on the basis of three guiding principles:  Unity, Resilience, and Healthy Landscapes and Communities.  
This year’s National Bison Day celebration holds special significance, as Congress passed the National Bison Legacy Act in April with unanimous support to make the bison’s adoption as National Mammal official. President Obama signed the legislation on May 9, 2016.   
American Bison Coalition members will host various events and spread the word on social media to celebrate National Bison Day to commemorate our new National Mammal, recognizing the historical, economic, ecological and cultural contributions of bison across the American landscape. This year’s events and recognition include:
·         Wind Cave National Park (SD) on Nov. 1
·         Bethany College (WV) on Nov. 1-5
·         Bronx Zoo (NY) on Nov. 5
·         Queens Zoo (NY) on Nov. 5
·         Ted’s Montana Grill on Oct.25 – Nov. 5
·         Brookfield Zoo (IL) – Nov. 5
·         Smithsonian's National Zoo (DC) on Nov. 5 
·         Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie (IL) on Nov. 5
·         Lehigh Valley Zoo (PA) on Nov. 5
·         Field Museum, Chicago (IL) on Nov. 5
·         Bergen County Zoo (NJ) on Nov. 5
·         Flint Hills Discovery Center (KS) on Nov. 5 
·         Buffalo Wool Co. on Nov. 5
·         Antelope State Park (UT) on Nov. 5
·         Cosley Zoo (IL) on Nov. 5
·         National Buffalo Museum (ND) on Nov. 5
·         Elmwood Park Zoo (PA) on Nov. 6
·         Denver Zoo/Anschutz Collection’s American Museum for Western Art (CO) on Nov. 9
·         Capitol Hill/U.S. Senate (DC) on Nov. 16
·         Oakland Zoo (CA) on Nov. 17
·         Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NY) on Nov. 19
·         National Park Trust
·         Santa Ana Zoo @ Prentice Park (CA)
·         Roger Williams Park Zoo (RI)
·         Baton Rouge Zoo (LA)
·         Bison Ridge Whiskey
·         Albuquerque BioPark (NM)
·         Bureau of Land Management-Utah
·         Blank Park Zoo (IA)
·         Columbus Zoo & Aquarium (OH)
·         The Wilds (OH)
·         Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History (SD)
A new bison seal is inscribed with the words Unity, Resilience and Health:  unity, because bipartisan leadership ensured the Act’s passage and multiple sectors are unifying to recover and recognize the value of bison; resilience, because bison populations were driven almost to extinction but now number more than 300,000 in North America and also can endure changing weather and land conditions; and health, because bison play an ecological role in restoring grasslands and related wildlife habitat as well as contributing to economic and dietary health.   
About the Bison, America’s National Mammal
The bison, North America’s largest land mammal, has an important role in America’s history, culture and economy. Before being nearly wiped from existence by westward expansion, bison numbering in the tens of millions roamed across most of North America. The species is acknowledged as the first American conservation success story, having been brought back from the brink of extinction by a concerted effort of ranchers, conservationists, American Indian Nations and politicians to save the species in the early 20th century.
In 1907, President Teddy Roosevelt and the American Bison Society began this effort by sending 15 animals by train from the Bronx Zoo to Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Many American Indian Nations revere the bison (or “buffalo”) for their historical, cultural, traditional and spiritual relationship with the species and are restoring bison herds on their Nations’ lands throughout the West. Bison now exist in all 50 states in public and private herds, providing recreation opportunities for wildlife viewers in parks, refuges, zoos, and grasslands while sustaining a multimillion dollar sector of American agriculture. 
The American Bison Coalition currently consists of more than 85 diverse entities representing conservation groups, Native Americans, bison producers, educational institutions, sportsmen/recreationists, zoological institutions, health organizations and businesses. The Coalition asks the public to celebrate the many ways that bison have shaped America’s history, economy, culture, and landscapes – using the seal and promoting the three principles.  The Coalition is led by a Steering Committee representing its conservation, tribal, and business communities:  the Wildlife Conservation Society (an NGO based at the Bronx Zoo dedicated to global wildlife recovery), the InterTribal Buffalo Council (which has a membership of 63 tribes in 19 states), and the National Bison Association (which has more than 1,000 members across 49 states).
For the past five years, the American Bison Coalition has joined people across the country to celebrate National Bison Day on the first Saturday of November. Native American tribes, bison producers, conservationists, sportsmen and women, educators and other public and private partners commemorated the day by hosting events celebrating bison in their communities in dozens of states and participating on social media. The U.S. Senate has for the past four years recognized National Bison Day with an official resolution.
This year, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution on September 20th that officially recognizes National Bison Day. Senators of both parties came together to pass the National Bison Day Resolution by unanimous consent. Sens. Michael Enzi (R-WY) led a group of 13 co-sponsors, 6 Republicans and 7 Democrats, who helped push the resolution to final passage. The American Bison Coalition plans to continue pushing for a National Bison Day resolution each year as a way to celebrate bison on an annual basis.
Senator Enzi was joined as a co-sponsor of the National Bison Day resolution by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).  
For more information, please contact Chip Weiskotten at 518-669-3936 or go to www.nationalmammal.org.