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Chad Kremer, buffalo herd manager at the Custer State Park, uses a black flag to turn a cow buffalo toward the bidders during the park's 49th annual buffalo auction in November, 2014.

Journal file

BISMARCK, N.D. | U.S. Sen. John Hoeven wants to make bison the national mammal.

The North Dakota Republican says he and Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico are introducing legislation to designate the American bison as the country's national mammal. The proposed National Bison Legacy Act also recognizes the historical, cultural and economic significance of the animal.

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Hoeven says the bison "is one of the most powerful and inspiring symbols of America."

Members of the U.S. House including South Dakota Republican Rep. Kristi Noem introduced a similar measure in that chamber earlier this year.

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