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Government & Politics

Gianforte Pushes Back On Plan To Look At Bison In Refuge

Bison graze in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, August 18, 2016.
NPS/Neal Herbert (Public Domain)
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Bison graze in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, August 18, 2016.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte’s office says a U.S. Interior Department plan to consider if bison should be reintroduced to a sprawling refuge raises questions about federal intrusion into state wildlife issues.

Interior officials this week said they plan a years-long process to examine potential bison reintroductions at the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge north of Lewistown.

Gianforte recently cancelled a bison restoration plan adopted under his Democratic predecessor.

On Thursday the Republican signed a bill requiring county commissioners to approve any bison relocations into their counties by state agencies.

Bison roamed Montana in huge herds before getting wiped out by overhunting in the late 19th century.