this little friend was sent to one of my favorite peeps @_lipstick_n_spurs_ who encourages me, sends me sweet messages, all while she is recovering from a horse accident! LOVE YA Sarah! cant wait to meet you!!
You may remember the big bison release we had at Belwin Conservancy Conservancy in Afton, Minnesota earlier this year. We want to give you all an amazing update on the impact a small herd of bison had on a Minnesotan Praire. "I can't even describe how incorporating bison have enhanced the landscape here. The quality and maturation of our prairie has been improved by 4x. The balance and abundance of insects, wildlife, wildflowers and grasses here is second to none in the country. Simultaneously, our management energy and costs have plummeted. All thanks to the bison." - Justin Sykora, Land Manager Belwin Conservancy
Northstar and Belwin joined forces in 2008 in an effort to help the nature conservancy improve their degrading grasslands which, at that time, were being managed through the common practice of rest, burning and chemical treatment.
They were losing the battle and the landscape was suffering greatly. Desertification (soil surface losing cover through receding vegetation), loss of native plant species diversity, invasion of non-native species demanding control through chemical intervention, minimal wildlife and insect prosperity and the list goes on.
Something had to change... Belwin made the bold move to go against the modern, conventional grain (no pun intended but I'll take it!) to introduce bison back onto the Minnesota prairie under the management of Steve Hobbs.
Steve contacted us here at Northstar to see about working out a mutual agreement to provide bison for their prairie while under the watchful eyes of University of Minnesota students to observe interaction and grazing behavior.
A mutually beneficial deal was struck and bison were slated for delivery in June. Justin Sykora was aghast at the decision. He recalls phoning the Conservancy to question the decision to essentially "flush all the years of management effort down the drain by introducing such destructive beasts." Justin couldn't have been more wrong.
To be continued.....