Wild Things: Bottoms up to bison in Banff National Park

By November 21, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments
mountain range with a bison

It’s billed as a “fresh, crisp and delicious way” to support the return of the wild plains bison to Banff National Park.

On Saturday evening, Bison Belong will host an event to launch a locally bottled beer, Homeward Bison Pale Ale — with entertainment from The Wardens, a local band that just released their second album in May.

It all starts at 7 p.m. at the Banff Avenue Brewing Co. in Banff.

Following Saturday’s launch, the beer will be available at several restaurants in Banff National Park — including Balkan – The Greek Restaurant; Bison Restaurant and Terrace; Block Kitchen and Bar; Bruno’s Bar & Grill; Buffalo Mountain Lodge; Deer Lodge in Lake Louise; Juniper Hotel and Bistro; Magpie & Stump; Nourish Bistro; The Bear Street Tavern; and, The Maple Leaf Grille & Lounge.

A dollar from every bottle sold will go toward the Bison Belong initiative, which is a group advocating for the return of bison in the national park.

At the annual planning forum last month, officials with Banff National Park said that the plan to reintroduce bison is still being finalized.

The draft plan for reintroducing native plains bison into the national park came out in the fall of 2013. It calls for 600 to 1,000 bison as the target population, but recommends starting with a five-year pilot project of 30 to 50 bison in the backcountry.

The draft received more than 1,000 comments from Canadians and people around the world during a public comment phase.

Proponents of the plan say bringing bison back to Banff will go a long way to restoring the ecological integrity of the park, while opponents are worried about thebison making their way on to provincial lands.