The conversation from the May 17 edition of Frontiers continues in this Web Extra video.
Biologists Tom Seaton and Cathie Harms give us an appreciation for all the logistical and political hurdles, which had to be cleared to restore the wood bison to their original habitat in Western Alaska near Shageluk.
So what saved the day? Many different groups of Alaskans, who came together to make the project a success.
Watch Rhonda McBride’s interview.
Here’s a look at some of the key milestones in the project:
A Timeline of Major Wood Bison Events
2015 – May 28 bull wood bison transported via truck and barge from AWCC to Lower Innoko/Yukon Rivers area and released in vicinity of other bison
2015 – April, 100 wood bison released to the wild
2015 – March, 100 wood bison transported from AWCC to Shageluk
2014 – Spring 2015 release date announced by Governor Parnell on August 5th.
2014 – Final 10(j) rule published May 7th.
2012 – Wood bison downlisted from endangered to threatened.
2009 – Petroleum development interests protested the reintroduction of an ESA listed species.
2008 – ADF&G and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service begin process to list the wood bison herd as a “nonessential experimental population” —called the 10(j) rule.
2008 – ADF&G trucked 53 Wood Bison from Elk Island National Park, Canada to AWCC.
2007 – Wood Bison Environmental Review published.
2004 – Wood Bison Restoration Advisory Group created.
2003 – USFWS transferred 13 wood bison to AWCC.
2002 – Habitat assessment of remaining Interior Alaska started
2001 – Stephenson et al. published a paper titled—Wood Bison in Late Holocene Alaska and Adjacent Canada: Paleontological, Archeological and Historical records.
1995 – Habitat assessment of Yukon Flats.
1994 – Feasibility assessment.
1993 – Historical research began.
1992 – Idea generated by Bob Stephenson during a field trip to Yukon Flats