In the 1900s, bison roamed the prairies of Minnesota freely, but unfortunately, the immense animal began facing massive population loss due to hunting and habitat loss during that time.

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Much time has passed since bison wandered the grasslands of our state, but after a hundred years, it is time to change that. 

Officials in Dakota County hope to reintroduce 15 bison to Spring Lake Park Reserve by the fall of 2022. 

The park is located between Hastings and Rosemont. 

So, why reintroduce bison after all this time?

A very valid question. According to Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Peterson,

"Drought conditions across the state are highlighting the importance of grasses and biodiversity on the land. The multiple benefits that this is going to bring to this area and to this park are going to be seen.”

Bison help wildflowers and grasses grow. Pretty neat! However, there is no way this project is an inexpensive feat. 

Okay, cool! But, how is this bison reimplantation project being funded?

The Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, approved by the state Legislature, will provide $560,000 worth of funds. Most of this money will go toward the price of fencing for the park.

Minneopa State Park in Mankato is widely known for its bison enclosure. 

The Bison Drive at the park is open Thursday through Tuesday. The range, however, is closed on Wednesday for maintenance. Drive hours vary, so check the park's website for current hours before visiting.

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(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The completion of this project will require many long, tedious steps, but it is exciting to know this animal will return to its Minnesota home.

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