GOLDEN, Colo. — On a snowy, blustery March morning, Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) donated 17 bison yearlings to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma.
The bison had been staying at two of the Denver Mountain Parks: Genesee Park in Golden and Daniels Park in Douglas County.
“This is what we should’ve been doing for decades as owners and as stewards of these wonderful animals: returning them, as we have nurtured them and raised them, but returning them back to our Indigenous leaders of this land, the caretakers of this land,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who spoke at the March 21 event at Genesee Park.
According to DPR, this year is the first time in “recent history” that Denver is not holding a bison auction; that tradition ended last year when the department said it would instead “select tribes across the country that will accept the bison to build and enhance conservation herds on tribal lands.”
In total, Denver is transferring 33 bison this year: 15 to the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming; 17 to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma (which happened Monday); and one to the Tall Bull Memorial Council in Colorado.