buffalo herd standing in a grassland.
Buffalo Homecoming A buffalo herd grazes in grasslands at the base of the Sangre de Cristo mountains adjacent to The Great Sand Dunes National Park at Medano-Zapata ranch in southern Colorado. © Dave Showalter

Great Plains

American Buffalo

Restoration is about more than land.

American Buffalo on PBS

Tune in to your local PBS station October 16-17 in most areas to see Ken Burns’s newest documentary and learn more about the story—past, present and future of the American Buffalo. See if you can spot any TNC preserves!

In 2020, The Nature Conservancy began work with the InterTribal Buffalo Council, the Tanka Fund and other Indigenous partners to transfer bison (also known as American buffalo) from TNC herds to Native Nations and communities. Since then, more than 1,000 bison, born and raised on TNC preserves, like Medano-Zapata Ranch in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, have made the long journey—over time and distance—back to their ancestral grazing lands.

Bison Roundup (50:12) Live from the corrals at the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska, OK, take a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to roundup over 2,500 bison.