Dave Dahl -- Illinois Radio Network

It has been 177 years since bison roamed Illinois. The Nature Conservancy is bringing that animal back.

The organization owns a 3,500-acre preserve in Ogle and Lee Counties in Northern Illinois and is reintroducing the bison to help graze the land, which the group's Illinois conservation program director, Bob Moseley, says is necessary.

“We need some sort of grazing animals on (the land) to maintain it over the next century,” says Moseley. “It is private money. This is something that The Nature Conservancy and its donors feel very strongly about.”

Eventually, he says, people will be able to visit the preserve and see the bison.

More From WROK 1440 AM / 96.1 FM