Bison Restoration Plan to be Revealed
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana wildlife officials plan to release a long-awaited wild bison study Thursday that contemplates restoring the burly animals to public, tribal or private lands more than a century after they were driven to near-extinction.
But details released in advance show Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will steer clear of the crucial question of where bison restoration work will occur. Agency spokesman Ron Aasheim says the draft study is meant to set broad guidelines should the state move forward on a specific site. Those include using only disease-free bison and taking input from any community that's proposed to receive them.
The livestock industry and its backers have thwarted prior restoration attempts out of worries that bison, also known as buffalo, would spread disease and out-compete cattle for rangeland.