‘’BUFFALO NATION’’ by Chris Navarro
With my newest sculpture I show a herd of buffalo running the full length of our country. To bring to the fact that North America used to be teeming with buffalo. But in one century, their numbers plummeted from tens of millions to just a few dozen in the wild after hunters nearly wiped out the continent’s largest mammals. Now the bison has become the first national mammal of the United States. In 2016 the president signed into law the National Bison Legacy Act, which designates the bison as the official mammal of the United States. The bison, now joins the bald eagle as a national symbol.
At one time the whole country was one vast buffalo range, inhabited by millions of buffaloes. The buffalo was an important symbol of our country, and incredibly important, religiously, for Native Americans. It came to a point when these animals were on the brink of extinction. The first federal legislation protecting bison was enacted in 1894, and today, bison live in every state. An estimated 20,000 bison live on public lands in North America. An additional 162,110 live on private farms and ranches. It has taken over 100 years for us as a nation to recognizing this symbol and the importance of the American Buffalo in our society and culture. Long live the buffalo!