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Buffalo to roam near Chicago

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 09:42:48 CDT
By: IPR's Susie An

Buffalo to roam near Chicago
     A prairie north-east of Bloomington near Chicago is hoping to get the help of bison for a restoration project.
     IPR's Susie An reports:

The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie wants to bring a herd of bison to Wilmington, about 60 miles southwest of Chicago. Bison were removed from the tallgrass prairie ecosystem more than a century ago. Prairie Supervisor Wade Spang hopes the re-introduction of the animals can help restore the area.
"Through the use of grazing and planting and the forbs and grasses that bison eat, thus making it a nice area for prairie grasses to grow, bird habitat and for the public to view bison."

The bison will be allowed to graze on a trial basis while the prairie ecosystem restoration is evaluated. Spang says a small herd of about 20 to 30 bison could get to Midewin sometime in the next couple of years. The proposal includes a 12-hundred acre grazing area, east of Illinois 53. Prairie officials are taking public comment now until April 22.

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