House votes to designate bison as America’s national mammal
Associated Press , WFAA 11:15 AM. CDT April 27, 2016
WASHINGTON (AP) – Make room, bald eagle. The House has voted to designate the bison the national mammal of the United States.
The move seeks to elevate the bison’s stature to that of the bald eagle, long the nation’s official bird. There has not been an official mammal of the United States.
Prior to approving the measure by voice vote Tuesday, House members spoke of the significance to the nation’s history of the bison, also known as buffalo. The animals were central to many Native American cultures and were on the verge of extinction before revival efforts established herds on national refuges and parks.
The measure passed by the House must go to the Senate for final passage, expected later this week, before it can go to the president’s desk.
The National Bison Legacy act was four years in the making, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. The coalition that worked to get the bill approved consisted of over 60 organizations, businesses and tribes.
“The adoption of bison as our National Mammal represents a validation of the many meaningful ways this animal represents America,” said John Calvelli, the executive vice president of public affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society, in a press release. “As an ecological keystone, cultural bedrock and economic driver, the bison conveys values such as unity, resilience and commitment to healthy landscapes and communities. Bison takes a place alongside the bald eagle as a national symbol to be revered.”
The bison has been designated as America’s national mammal. Credit: Wildlife Conservation Society
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