07:08 PM

For Immediate Release

MEDIA ADVISORY: First Tribal Buffalo Conservation Summit

What:  First Tribal Buffalo Conservation Summit and National Bison Day Celebration

When: Nov. 1-3

Where: History Colorado Center, Denver, Colorado (Nov. 1-2); Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Commerce City, Colorado (Nov. 3)

Why: The Tribal Buffalo Conservation Summit will bring together tribal leaders, tribal wildlife managers, and conservation experts to share management strategies and discuss the important ecological, cultural and economic benefits of restoring bison to tribal lands.

Conference attendance on Nov. 1-2 is limited to tribal and bison representatives. Media is also encouraged to attend the conference. The Summit agenda can be found here. To attend, please RSVP to Deborah Frazier at (303) 514-8920

The National Bison Day events are by invitation only. Media is also allowed to attend the celebration, with RSVPs to Deborah Frazier at (303) 514-8920 encouraged but not required.

Native American tribes are leaders in bison conservation. In the last six years, tribes have restored hundreds of wild buffalo to western tribal lands in Montana, Wyoming and other states, and celebrated the birth of dozens of calves on tribal lands throughout the West. The summit will gather representatives from dozens of tribes to explain the most effective on the ground restoration techniques, collaborate to create more successes, and inspire other tribes.

The Summit conference will be held at the History Colorado Center on Nov. 1-2. Tribal and wildlife management experts at the summit will discuss:

  • The spiritual, religious, ceremonial and cultural use of buffalo
  • Engaging youth in bison conservation
  • Improving landscapes and habitat through buffalo restoration
  • The ecology and genetics of bison restoration
  • Yellowstone National Park’s bison program
  • Partnerships for buffalo conservation

At the National Bison Day Celebration on Nov. 3 at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, tribal leaders and elders will speak about the importance of buffalo to tribes and communities. There will also be native singing and drumming performances. Guests will see 190 wild bison roaming on this National Wildlife Refuge site, which the National Wildlife Federation helped establish.

Up to 30 million bison once roamed the American West, but the mass slaughter of the 1800s reduced the number of wild and captive buffalo to less than 1,000 by the early 1900s. Native American tribes protected many of the surviving bison from extinction and were leaders in conserving the species.

In the past six years, tribes have restored over 220 wild buffalo to the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Reservations in Montana and the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Defenders of Wildlife, World Wildlife Fund, and the National Wildlife Federation provided support to these tribally-led efforts.

The Tribal Buffalo Conservation Summit and the National Bison Day events are sponsored by the Intertribal Buffalo Council, the Fort Peck Tribes, the Fort Belknap Tribes, the National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund, and Defenders of Wildlife.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.