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USFWS Acting Director Visits the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center’s Wood Bison Handling Facility and Experimental Reintroduction Herd

wood bison calf (photo by Doug Lindstrand)On June 29th, the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Acting Director, Rowan W. Gould and Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s (ADF&G) endangered species coordinator, Doug Vincent-Lang, and colleagues visited the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) to see the experimental reintroduction herd of wood bison that will soon be released into the wild. Mike Miller, the Center’s executive director, and wildlife planner in charge of the wood bison restoration program, Randy Rogers, greeted the distinguished guests.  The visitors toured around the 200 acre facility which is home to native Alaskan wildlife and over 100 wood bison including multiple generations of offspring from founder stock originating from Canada’s Elk Island.

Wood bison are the northern subspecies of American bison and the largest terrestrial mammals in the Western hemisphere. The AWCC had over 20 calves born this year. The calves will be part of an inaugural herd to be introduced into the Alaskan Interior in the next few years. The AWCC once exhibited plains bison, the more common and better known subspecies found in the Lower 48. For more information on the wood bison, please visit this earlier post

Just a week prior, Senator Lisa Murkowski visited the Center to see the wood bison program.