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Thinking like a Mountain Using 800 Bison

“O’Brien has raised bison for the last 20 years. Largely that means leaving the 1,500 pound animals alone, except for an occasional check-in on horseback.”
Courtesy of Wild Idea Buffalo Co./Jill O’Brien
“Bison graze light, which helps preserve native grasses that are excellent at storing carbon.”
​Wild Idea Buffalo Co./Jill O’Brien

We want to give a shout out to Men’s Journal for its interesting story about Dan O’Brien, a South Dakota rancher. Mr. O’Brien has 800 bison on 9,000 acres, and he sells humanely harvested bison meat direct to consumers through Wild Idea Buffalo Company – all of which is nice. But, we like O’Brien’s understanding of the ecosystem he inhabits and the role bison play as a keystone species. The article explains that bison have been central to O’Brien’s conservation commitment to protect and preserve the prairies of the northern Great Plains, because they increase biodiversity, help capture carbon dioxide, and provide a healthier food option to you and me.

Our philosophy of Think Like a Mountain™ represents much the same thing. We look for ways to fit our restoration objectives into nature’s own way of doing things. We’re proponents of another keystone species – beaver – as natural engineers of healthy ecosystems. Our approach attempts to recognize first all the ways water, wildlife, and landscapes interconnect and then find avenues for restoring degraded natural systems so that biological uplift is maximized and flourishing habitat invites the same sort of biodiversity that bison nurture. If you want to make a difference for the environment, think like Dan O’Brien and Think Like a Mountain™.

Read the story on Dan O’Brien and his 800 bison via this link.

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