By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Sixty-four bison from Yellowstone National Park are set to arrive on northeast Montana's Fort Peck Indian Reservation under a long-stalled initiative to repopulate parts of the West with the iconic animals.
Robert Magnan with the Fort Peck Fish and Game Department says tribal and state officials signed an agreement late Friday allowing the transfer to take place.
Magnan says the date of the shipment was kept quiet until it was under way to avoid a court injunction. A group of northeastern Montana landowners and property groups have sued to stop the transfer.
The bison have been quarantined for several years to ensure they are free of the disease brucellosis. But critics of the animals' relocation have lingering concerns about bison competing with cattle for rangeland.
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