Book: American Plains Bison

Few animals elicit more awe and debate than bison. In American Plains Bison: Rewilding an Icon (Sweetgrass Books, $20), retired professor of wildlife biology James A. Bailey draws on this unique species' inspiring characteristics to build a constituency for returning them to their wild state. Bailey makes an important distinction between truly wild bison—those animals that evolve naturally based on their environment—and bison that are managed by land agencies. He advocates strongly for the repopulation of bison on lands the animals formally occupied, and American Plains Bison strikes a chord with the romantic notion of wildness that appeals to those of us who value open space and the critters who occupy it.