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Ho-Chunk Nation to close bison and organic beef operations

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MUSCODA/TOMAH, Wis. – The Ho-Chunk Nation will be withdrawing from the bison and organic beef producing industries currently under tribal management. The nation says its operations at the Muscoda Bison Ranch and Organic Belted Galloway Ranch in Tomah will cease by July 2010.

“The current economic climate and the discontinuous and fractured nature of the existing Ho-Chunk land base are the chief factors behind the decision,” Executive Director of Heritage Preservation Henning Garvin said. Garvin said that in closing the operations, the humane treatment of the animals on both properties will be of primary concern to the nation.

The Ho-Chunk Nation will remain a member of the InterTribal Bison Cooperative in order to continue support of their mission to restore bison to Native American lands and to leave open the option to establish a self-sustaining and profitable herd should the economic situation and land status change in such a way to make such outcomes more feasible for the nation.

The Ho-Chunk Nation says it will not immediately pursue a strategy that involves a large scale culling of animals on either property nor does it plan to sell either property.