The Postal Service issued a 21-cent Bison definitive stamp in Wall, South Dakota, on February 22, 2001. The stamp was designed by Carl Herrman of Carlsbad, California, and illustrated by Tom Nikosey of Bell Canyon, California. The stamp was reissued on September 20 in several formats.
Bison, long a symbol of the "Wild West," grazed the western United States from the Mississippi River to west of the Rocky Mountains. Many Native American tribes relied on the bison for survival and used the entire animal for food, clothing, thread, bowstrings, cups, and spoons.
The herds were large and the numbers were in the millions. Bison were nearly eliminated from the plains and prairies of the United States at the end of the nineteenth century due to extensive hunting and government policy. A small herd of Bison was finally protected in Yellowstone National Park early in the 1900s. More than forty Native American tribes have recently joined together to restore the herds of bison on tribal lands in South Dakota and Montana. They have been successful in creating a collective herd of almost 10,000 animals from the survivors in Yellowstone.
Postal Bulletin (January 25, 2001).