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208 BISON IN WONDERLAND
Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota. Before Euro American settlement, an estimated 30-60 million bison roamed the Great Plains. Their grazing pressure was a force that shaped the ecology of the Great Plains as strongly as prairie fires in the evolution of this prairie landscape. Between the 1860s and 1900, bison were all but eliminated from this vast land of grass and sky. Today, only small managed herds exist on the prairies, but dreams of free roaming herds of bison on large scale preserves rumble on the horizon.