Home on the Range

Home on the Range (HMQTS)

Location: Stafford, KS 67578 Stafford County
Country: United States of America

N 37° 57.77', W 98° 36.035'

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Bison, Prairie Dogs, and More

"The area from Great Bend westward for a hundred miles or so was a famous hunting ground for all the plains tribes, as its excellent pasturage made it the home of vast herds of buffaloes, besides plenty of antelopes and deer." - N. H. Darton, et al., Guidebook of the Western U.S., 1915

Hollywood's Dances with Wolves ensured that the Great Plains would be forever linked with bison in American consciousness. A few centuries ago, some 60 million American Bison ranged from Mexico into Canada. They were the most adundant grazing mammals in North America. Unsustainable hunting in the 1800s wiped out these immense herds. By 1900, roughly 1,000 wild bison remained in this country. Today, thanks to the work of conservationists, ranchers, and wildlife managers, bison populations have rebounded.

Although bison no longer roam freely along the Byway, you can see signs of their historic presence. Bison roll on the ground to shed hair and insect pests, and in the past, their wallows formed depressions as wide as 30 feet. Stop by The Nature Conservancy's Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve to see some of these historic wallows. Watch, too, for signs of other mammals, including prairie dogs, deer, beaver, muskrat, jackrabbits, and mink.

Motion and Change
American bison migrated through this part of Kansas by the millions. In 1871, one herd reported from southwest of Dodge City included some four million individuals. Plains tribes depended on bison for food, clothing, tipis, and more, and organized their societies around bison movements.

The Black-tailed Prairie Dog
Along the Byway, look for short-cropped grassy fields with scattered dirt mounds. These are signs of black-tailed prairie dog "towns." At The Nature Conservancy's Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve, burrowing owls nest in prairie dog holes, just one of many species to utilize the extensive tunnels.
Placed ByWetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 10:32am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 535085 N 4201766
Decimal Degrees37.96283333, -98.60058333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 57.77', W 98° 36.035'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 57' 46.20" N, 98° 36' 2.10" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)620
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101-199 N Main St, Stafford KS 67578, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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