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The Durham Buffalo Ranch

(©2009 Jonathan Green/@modestholdings)

This is truly “where the buffalo roam”, at Durham Ranch. Long-known as the largest private buffalo herd in existence, this sprawling 65-thousand-acre sanctuary is located in the northeastern part of the state, near Wright, Wyoming. The Thunder Basin National Grasslands, and the Black Thunder Coal Mine, two other Wonders of Wyoming, are close by.

The Flochinni Family brought the very first bison here from Yellowstone National Park in the mid-1960’s, and has seen the herd hold steady for decades at 4,000 head of American Bison.

The American Bison is the largest North American land mammal, and once numbered 75-million strong. But after the great buffalo hunts in the late 1800’s, their population dwindled to less than 1,000 in all of North America. The American Bison became a protected species in 1894, and today the population has grown to more than 70,000, no longer an endangered species, due in large part to sanctuaries like Durham Ranch. And, of course, the sight of the great American Bison might take a little extra meaning for any Wyomingite. The great beast is a historic symbol of Wyoming, adorning the State Flag, and known as the official State Mammal.

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