Bison producers applaud new nickel

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Sep 27, 2004
by WLJ
The United States Mint recently announced it was releasing a new limited-edition nickel in 2005 featuring an American bison and a newly-designed image of Thomas Jefferson. The National Bison Association (NBA) called the announcement "a dynamic tribute to the heritage and the future of this great American symbol."
"We are excited, not only by the announcement, but also by the beautiful design that will be incorporated on this new Bison Nickel," said Dave Carter, executive director of NBA. "This new coin recognizes that bison are an integral part of the American experience."
A delegation of bison ranchers from around the nation stood with U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi, R-WY, and Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-CO, in July when the Senators announced the introduction of legislation to authorize a bison image as a part of the nickel redesigns honoring the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
At the time of that announcement, National Bison Association President Steve Wilson of Kentucky said, "The original buffalo nickel commemorated a history and a heritage of something that was in danger of becoming extinct. This proposal celebrates restoration…the restoration of a magnificent animal through the efforts of independent ranchers and farmers and the Native American nations."
In making Thursday's announcement, U.S. Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore noted, "These small pieces of contemporary art will place us at those spellbinding moments when Lewis and Clark first encountered a grazing American bison."
Sen. Enzi added that the new design honors "the importance of our Western heritage, the importance of the bison in Native American culture, and the importance of the public/private efforts to restore the American bison from virtual extinction.
"While our nation's symbol is the bald eagle, an enduring symbol of the West is the American Bison," he said.
The new design is scheduled for public release in early 2005. — WLJ