Over the last couple of weeks, some news stories covering bison reintroduction on tribal lands have erroneously states that buffalo ranchers mix their animals with cattle to produce meat for the marketplace. Nothing is further from the truth. The National Bison Association is dedicated to maintaining the integrity species. In fact, our Code of Ethics specifically prohibits members from deliberately crossbreeding bison with another species. However, the issue of cattle genetics in bison is extremely sensitive and complicated. The bison in private and public herds today are descendants of the buffalo that were gathered by a few individuals who helped save the species from extinction at the end of the 19th century. Some of those individuals experimented briefly with crossbreeding bison and cattle. The resulting offspring did not display any “hybrid vigor,” so those individuals quickly abandoned the practice. Many bison today still care small traces of cattle genetics from that period in history. While many ranchers today are testing their herds to selectively remove those traces, they are also careful not to eliminate important bison genetics that survived the “bottleneck” of near-extinction in the late 1800’s.