American Buffalo

Monday, January 05, 2009

Before the 19th century, buffalo roamed North America freely and numbered an estimated 40 million. Within a century, there were only a few hundred left. Steven Rinella looks into the long, complex relationship between humans and buffalo in his new book, American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon.

Steven Rinella will be reading and signing books
Tues. Jan. 6 at 7 pm
at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble
97 Warren Street (at Greenwich St)


Steven Rinella
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [5]

CL from New York

It's ironic that Rinella's desire to kill buffalo for sport is what led to the extermination of the buffalo to begin with. I would never buy a book from a man who kills the animal he admires for personal pleasure.

Jan. 05 2009 12:58 PM
Fuva from Harlem, NY

This guy searches for the "lost icon", to contribute to their loss?
Conspicuous consumption. Excess.

Jan. 05 2009 12:54 PM

What an idiot

Jan. 05 2009 12:52 PM
Lane Trippe from New York

Your guest is eliding the significant 2-3 year mass extirmination of buffalo (wiping out several million buffalo, documented by accounts and pictures of the skulls & hides piled high at depots) authorized and boostered by the US & Texas govts, in the end 19th century, detailed by Tim Egan in "The Worst Hard Times" - telling the story about the sources of the Dust Bowl. After the Apache (and other plains tribes) were killed and driven off the high plains, the order went out for the buffalo to be extirminated to prevent the Native Americans who had been relocated to "The Indian Territory" from returning to the Great Plains. Read the book.

Jan. 05 2009 12:51 PM
hjs from 11211

"Frank J. Popper and Deborah Popper, in a 1987 essay argued that the current use of the drier parts of the plains is not sustainable." From
they also talk about reintroducing the american bison from several reasons including the bison is able to survive without additional inputs and they do less damage to the plains than cattle.

Jan. 05 2009 10:57 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.