BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A long-awaited wild bison study weighs restoring the burly animals to public, tribal or private lands in Montana more than a century after they were driven to near-extinction. But Thursday's 170-page study from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks steers clear of the crucial question of where bison restoration work will occur. Agency officials say the draft study is meant to set broad guidelines for future proposals to reintroduce bison to specific sites. Alternatives include restoring the animals to private or public lands, on Indian reservations or on a large landscape that could hold 400 or more bison.

The livestock industry and its backers have opposed prior restoration attempts out of worries that bison, also known as buffalo, would spread disease and compete with cattle for rangeland.