Bison will soon roam in Minnesota againby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
A nature preserve in Afton, Minn. is adding a small herd of bison to its prairie.
St. Paul, Minn. — Belwin Nature Preserve has about 500 acres of restored prairie, and officials say it's time to bring back the native bison. They work the soil with their hooves, graze on plants and spread seeds.
Belwin Executive Director Steve Hobbs says he hasn't found many other prairies where bison are part of the scene, so the introduction in Afton is an experiment.
"We're only going to put out about 20 animals on 220 acres to begin with, then we'll closely monitor how the prairie plants respond and adjust accordingly," said Hobbs.
The animals are coming from a bison ranch in Wisconsin.
The bison will live at Belwin for about two years before being slaughtered for meat. It's part of a effort to show that prairie restoration can be economically feasible.