Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie: Where the Bison Roam

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Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, located an hour southwest of Chicago, welcomed some new residents in October 2015. The nature preserve gained a herd of 27 American bison.

Initially, the preserve introduced the bison as a way to restore native tallgrass prairie. Their grazing patterns differ from cattle and may be more compatible with sustaining the prairie.

You can access the bison viewing area at the Iron Bridge Trailhead, which has attracted 400 to 500 visitors daily. However, due to the pasture’s vast size, the forest service doesn’t guarantee those who make the trip will see the bison. Still, the opportunity gives the nature preserve a way to safely educate the public on bison and their role in prairie ecosystems.

Learn more about Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie at www.fs.usda.gov/midewin.

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