By Lynn Capuano, Army Public Affairs
Wainwright, Alberta — You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd, according to the questionable wisdom of the late Texas country singer Roger Miller, but you could support Earth Day by running in the second annual Bison Run, if you’ve a mind to.
Canadian Forces Base/Area Support Unit Wainwright (CFB Wainwright) maintains a heritage herd of about 40 buffalo – more correctly known as plains bison – and is celebrating Earth Day 2018 on April 22 with a recreational run alongside the fenced-in herd.
The base, located 210 kilometres east of Edmonton, is the preferred training ground for the Army’s field force units based in Edmonton and is home to the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre and the 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre.
But that’s not all that goes on there.
Before the Department of National Defence (DND) took over the area in 1939 as a training base as the Second World War loomed, CFB Wainwright was known as Buffalo National Park.
The park was established in 1909 by the Canadian government as one of the earliest attempts at saving a species from extinction. It was a refuge for the plains bison, which once darkened the plains in astounding numbers: some of the massive herds on the move were reported to have been three kilometres wide and 40 kilometres deep. It is estimated that in the 1830s, the population of close to 40 million came within 1,000 animals of annihilation by 1900 due to unmanaged hunting and loss of…