Dale F. Lott

in American Bison

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780520233386
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930742 | DOI:

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Today, the hide hunt and the hide hunters seem utterly foreign to most of us. The hide hunters have achieved the anomalous status of despised frontiersmen. Public policy toward wilderness and wild things implements attitudes — private values. The value we put on animals feels so natural and right and inevitable that it's a shock when we first learn that others feel differently about an animal's death. There is no more dramatic illustration of such differences and their consequences than the public policy debate in the 1870s about the fate of the bison. At one level it was about consequences: impact on Native Americans, impact on the bison as a natural resource, proposed legislation. But the debate drew on, and illustrated, basic attitudes toward wildlife in general and bison in particular. Then as now, attitudes were mixed.

Keywords: hide hunt; hide hunters; wilderness; bison; public policy debate; Native Americans

Chapter.  1782 words. 

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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