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Bison at Soapstone
Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd Project


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Preserving an Icon

Following the Nov. 1, 2015 release, the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd currently live on about 1,000 fenced acres of shortgrass prairie at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, managed by the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas, and Red Mountain Open Space, managed by Larimer County Natural Resources.

The nine females and one male calf are directly related to the Yellowstone National Park herd. The project preserves valuable American bison genetics and allows the bison to return to land it grazed for millennia.

CSU’s Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory used reproductive technologies developed for cattle to ensure the bison are free from brucellosis, a bacterial disease that can also infect cattle, wildlife and other animals, triggering abortions that can devastate herds.

For more information, view the project's brochure.


 Project News

  • newborn bison
    ​A bison calf born at CSU in early June 2015 will find his home on the range with the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd. CSU contributed assisted reproductive technologies to the project that will restore disease-free bison - with Yellowstone genetics - to northern Colorado open space in fall 2015.​​​
  • Bison at Soapstone
    CSU scientists, local land managers and Native Americans prepped for a reintroduction of bison on public grasslands with a commemorative microbrew!​​​​
  • Bison Soapstone project
    As part of the project to return American bison to the prairie, students in the Warner College of Natural Resources are studying the effects of bison release on the animal's former stomping grounds in northern Larimer County. ​Collaborators at the Denver Zoo are investigating public perception, as well as agricultural stakeholder opinions and concerns, as a result of the bison reintroduction.​​​
  • reproduction, bison
    As of Nov. 1, 2015, American bison returned to northern Colorado with help from our advanced reproductive technologies. This exciting conservation and restoration project gave a herd of 10 genetically valuable and disease-free animals 1,000 acres to roam and graze.​​​​​
  • Bison at soapstone release
    ​​Science and ceremony joined as American bison with distinctive bloodlines returned to the grasslands of northern Colorado. The wildlife conservation project employs CSU reproduction science and is cheered by Native Americans with cultural and spiritual ties to bison.​​
  • native american, bison, arbl, soapstone prarie
    Before the CSU team moved the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd to its new prairie home, a Native American elder and drummers offered an ancient blessing ceremony for animals and scientists alike. It was one part of Native participation in the bison project.​
  • bison calf
    Just as the American bison officially became our national mammal, two bison calves were born to a conservation herd on public grasslands near Fort Collins. CSU is providing assisted reproductive technologies for the bison project.​​
  • bison
    We’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd on public lands in northern Colorado. The herd has a hoof-hold and already is contributing heirloom genetics to conservation projects nationwide.​​