SULPHUR, Okla. (KFOR) – Bison at an Oklahoma recreational area will soon have a new home.
The Chickasaw National Recreation Area is creating a new enclosure for the park’s bison herd.
The park’s bison herd was first established in February of 1920 when three bison were brought to the park from the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. In 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps began work on an 84-acre bison pasture, and the herd was moved to that location in 1934. They have lived there ever since.
“We’ve had our bison herd in the same pasture for 86 years, which is a long time to have such large animals in one place,” says Superintendent Bill Wright. “We are building a new pasture on the other side of the highway, not as a replacement, but as a second pasture we can use to rotate the animals to and from. This will let us better manage the land in both areas for the benefit of the bison.”
The new enclosure will be 42 acres and has more grazeland available than the current pasture. Once the bison are relocated to the new pasture, park staff will be able to perform prairie restoration work in the current enclosure.