35 bison calves found new homes on March 17 during one of the Golden area's most unusual fundraising events: the City and County of Denver bison sale. Now in its 35th year, the annual bison sale is …
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Genesee Park is home to one of Denver’s bison herds and was acquired by the City of Denver in 1912. The 2,413-acre park features stunning views of Colorado’s Front Range
Denver Parks and Recreation maintains two conservation bison herds in the Denver Mountain Parks system at Genesee Park and Daniels Park. The herds are descended from the last wild bison in North America and were originally established at Denver’s City Park by the Denver Zoo and the City of Denver. The herd was moved to Genesee Park in 1914 and expanded to Daniels Park in 1938.
Bison herds that numbered more than 30 million when the first European explorers set foot on the American continent were nearly wiped out by the 1880’s. At the turn of the 20th century, fewer than 1,000 bison remained in existence. Today it is estimated that there are approximately 500,000 bison in North America.
35 bison calves found new homes on March 17 during one of the Golden area's most unusual fundraising events: the City and County of Denver bison sale.
Now in its 35th year, the annual bison sale is when the City and County Denver sells off most of the offspring born in its two bison herds that live at Genesee Park and Daniels Park near Sedalia. Matt Brown, the operations supervisor at the Genesee Bison Ranch, said the city maintains the herds as part of conservation and education efforts but cannot allow those herds to grow too large.
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“We raise bison for people to look at but we can't keep them all because we have to be good stewards and we can't let animals overgraise the property,” Brown said.
Enter the annual sale, which Brown said is open to anyone who wants to buy a bison (yes, many of them will eventually get eaten) and this year attracted buyers from as far away as Wyoming. Funds from the sale go toward maintaining the animals and covering the costs of veterinary care.
Brown said the sale is also a unique experience that allows people to see the bison up close. Of course, the bison can also be viewed throughout the year around Genesee park, including from the buffalo overlook from I-70.
“We want to encourage Denver residents to come up and see what Denver owns outside of downtown,” Brown said. “We raise bison for educational purposes and for people to look at we want to educate people on the animal itself the bison and how long it's been around.”
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