Publish date:

Dakota County to reintroduce bison to the area next year

The bison will be introduced to Spring Lake Park Reserve near Hastings and Rosemont.

Officials in Dakota County are looking to reintroduce bison to a park near Hastings and Rosemont next year.

On Friday, community leaders broke ground on the project at Spring Lake Park Reserve. The county plans to introduce 15 bison to the area in fall of 2022. 

The bison will help native wildflowers and grasses grow in the area, according to the announcement.

“Drought conditions across the state are highlighting the importance of grasses and biodiversity on the land,” Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said in a statement. “The multiple benefits that this is going to bring to this area and to this park are going to be seen.”

The project is funded with $560,000 from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, which was approved by the state Legislature. The money will pay for fencing around the area where the bison are to roam.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, bison were once common in Minnesota prairies, but suffered significant population loss in the 1900s due to hunting and habitat loss.

Today, bison can be seen at Blue Mounds State Park and Minneopa State Park, along with the Minnesota Zoo.

The project is also supported by Upper Sioux Community and other Indigenous groups in the area, according to the announcement.

“We’re committed to honoring the important relationship between the bison and the Dakota people,” Dakota County Commissioner Mike Slavik said in a statement.

Next Up

Greg Joseph

Vikings radio call thought kick in Arizona was good

From jubilation to devastation in a moment.


St. Paul police report 7 suspected overdoses in 24 hours

The department reported that two of the suspected overdoses were fatal.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings miss game-winning field goal, fall to 0-2

Greg Joseph's chip shot attempt as time expired spoiled a late comeback.

Jose Berrios

Berríos leads Blue Jays in first start against Twins

Berríos got the win on Sunday but could the Twins win the deal down the road?


Crash in southern Minnesota kills motorcyclist

The crash happened Saturday at Highway 42 and County Road 14 in Highland Township.

Oli Udoh

Vikings-Cardinals: 5 things you can count on happening

The Vikings need a win in the desert but will they get one on Sunday?

Kyler Murray

How can the Vikings stop Kyler Murray?

The Cardinals quarterback accounted for five touchdowns against the Titans.

Red's Pizza in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

'Landmark' Wisconsin pizza joint to close amid worker shortage

The restaurant has been a local favorite since 1957.

Ky Thomas

Potts, Gopher defense dominate Buffaloes

Trey Potts ran for three touchdowns in a 30-0 victory in Boulder.


Flickr - Grand Canyon National Park - bison close-up

There's a bison on the loose in northwestern Minnesota

People are asked not to approach or interact with the animal.

Flickr - Grand Canyon National Park - bison close-up

The Sioux Chef petitions to stop Grand Canyon bison cull

Only 12 "skilled volunteers" will ultimately be selected to participate.

lake (public domain)

17 metro-area lakes receive failing grades for water quality

Lakes like Nokomis and Bde Maka Ska weren't included in the findings.

merry go round fair ride

Dakota County Fair returns next month with free admission

Fairgoers will still have to pay to park, go on rides and some grandstand events.

Go check out the 'genetically rare' bison right here in Minnesota

It's National Bison Day on Nov. 4, and 2 state parks have some special herds.

white-tailed deer

Two special deer hunts will be held in Minnesota to combat CWD

The hunts will be held the two weekends after Christmas.

railroad crossing, train crossing

Suspected drunk driver survives vehicle-train crash in Dakota County

The sheriff's office is reminding people not to drink and drive.