Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bison & Twisters

The area around the lake south of here was beautifully forested until swept by a tornado a couple years ago.  The gnarled remains of the trees still offer testimony to the intensity of the storm.  In just a few seconds numerous square miles of forest and the nearby Canadian Campground were gone.

I had camped there just a couple months before.
Now only this remains.
The Cheyenne- Arapaho tribe ranch bison both to repopulate the plains and for commercial use.  The buffalo is reportedly much better suited to ranching on the plains than cattle, create less bio-waste, less damage to the soil, and graze in a way to allow the native praire grasses to return and thrive.  While still small in herd size, bison are making a come back in many areas of the plains.
A local Cheyenne-Arapaho bison.
In South Dakota, for example, the Lakota Sioux are raising bison herds for commercial use, and buy only from other Native American tribes to support other communities.  They have produced a high-protein buffalo jerky and cranberry energy bar that is based on a Native American pemmican recipe called wasna.  It is great for anyone seeking a stable, high-energy food, such as runners, backpackers, climbers, paddlers, and training athletes.  For this reason, this small Native American company was able to place their protein energy bar with REI, the national outfitter, as well as Costco, Amazon, and of course may be purchased directly from tankabar.com.  It is heart-friendly, having the lowesr saturated fats of all communcial meats, the lowest calorie and cholesterol counts, while being high in iron, protein, and vitamin B.  Some childcare facilities have reportedly even replaced the children's sugary afternoon snack with Tanka Bars and Bites.
A shy group of bison find a comfortable spot at the edge of a grove of trees.
Here's a 7 1/2 minute You Tube video on the company.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaxEcizfURc

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