Threshold Episode 02: 'The Red Man Was Pressed'

Feb 9, 2017

How did we go from more than 50 million wild bison to just 23 free-roaming animals? And how does the decimation of the herds relate to the oppression of Native Americans? Find out on this episode of Threshold.

Buffalo hide yard in Dodge City, Kansas 1878.

In the Salish language, the concept of what a bison is includes the idea of "abundance." Considering that bison outnumbered humans on the planet for millennia, this makes sense. The idea that people could outnumber bison would've seemed crazy to Natives in North America just a couple hundred years ago. So how did we go from such abundance to such scarcity in such a short time? Find out now on episode 02 of Threshold.

Each season, Threshold podcast explores one story from the natural world, and what it says about us. Season one focuses on the American bison. Dig into the history of the American bison, from their arrival in North America, to current controversies surrounding their management today. 

Subscribe to Threshold podcast now via iTunes, and most other podcast apps, or using your own player:

You can find extras from this episode, including information about how you can weigh in on the future of the Yellowstone bison herd at

Tune in on Montana Public Radio Sundays at 6:00 p.m. starting Feb. 5 to hear the broadcast of Threshold Season 1.