The Bison is Closer to be the U.S. National Mammal, Following the House’s Approval on the Bill
Apr 27, 2016 06:12 AM EDT
The U.S. House of Representatives votes to designate the bison as the country's national mammal. The National Bison Legacy Act, which seeks to officially designate the animal, was agreed and will be passed to Senate and then to President Barack Obama for final approval.
According to Grand Forks Herald, the earlier version of the The National Bison Legacy Act was passed by The Senate in December. While the bill was processed by the House, they came up with a slightly different version, which will be sent back to the Senate for approval. When the Senate agrees upon the new version proposed by the House, the bill will head to President Barack Obama for final approval.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. is one of the senators who introduced the bill. In December, he explained that the bill won't add any restrictions for bison ranchers, who might breed the animals for food or other purposes. He was pleased by the House's decision to pass the bill.
The bill is a result of a long campaign by conservation and Native American groups, claiming that the animal is so close with the nation's history. The five-year campaign had finally paid off for the groups seeking recognition for the bison.
The discussion process carried out by the House also noted the significance to the nation's history of the bison, as reported by Fox News. The bison, also known as the buffalo, were central to many Native American cultures. If the bill receives final approval, the bison will be the nation's official national mammal, as there has not been an official mammal chosen for the United States.
The bison, on the other hand, have been struggling to keep its existence in the country. Aggressive hunting had cut their numbers significantly. Decades of hunting had even put them on the verge of extinction, as noted by Popular Science. At that point, revival efforts were then launched to keep the species. National refuges and parks were established to keep the animals.
Bison are believed to have lived for more than 10,000 years, around the same time when mammoths also existed. In addition to human threats, they have also survived the Ice Age that drove mammoths to its extinction.
The bill to make bison the U.S. national mammal is being approved by the House. After being sent back to the Senate to discuss some slight changes, the bill will be passed to the president's desk for final approval. The bill, however, will not keep bisons restricted for hunters.