Dakota County Researching Bison

Dakota County is studying the idea of reintroducing bison to a Dakota County park. Historically, bison were an important part of the County’s landscape, but are no longer found here in the wild. According to an informational website published by Dakota County, up until the mid-1840s, Dakota County was covered mostly with prairie and oak savanna. In Minnesota, these natural communities were developed and maintained by three natural processes of climate, fire and grazing. The grazing was primarily done by bison. Dakota County is restoring prairie and oak savanna communities within the parks, and is studying whether to reintroduce bison to the native and restored prairie and savanna areas in one of the parks. This would add the missing, third key ecosystem process element of grazing. A survey has been created to gauge the public’s response to the plan. A link to the survey is provided here.   

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