Developing Innovative Solutions for Human-Bison Coexistence Across North America

Bison restoration, a trans-boundary conservation issue that involves a multitude of diverse stakeholders, is among the most challenging of human-wildlife co-existence issues today in North America. Bison are an iconic and ecologically important species but occupy less than 1% of their historic range. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, along with diverse land managers, have identified bison reintroduction as a priority to ensure viable free-roaming populations, restore ecological function, and enhance cultural values. Yet, reintroduction of free-roaming bison is fraught with concerns over the transmission of disease to livestock, competition with cattle for shared forage, genetic integrity, and uncertainty about the ecological impact of bison on arid ecosystems. This GCRT will bring together a diverse group of scholars and practitioners to explore the ecological, economic, and social dimensions of this timely topic and continental-scale challenge and set an agenda for research and action applicable to the ever-increasing global problem of human-wildlife co-existence.