Public comment: bison relocation

Billings, MT – Montana wildlife officials are seeking public comment on a proposal to relocate several dozen Yellowstone National Park bison to an American Indian reservation in Wyoming.

The 41 bison would go to the Northern Arapahoe Tribe's Wind River Reservation in early April. The animals have been held in a quarantine facility north of Yellowstone for four years to make sure they are not carrying the livestock disease brucellosis, which causes pregnant cattle to abort their calves.

It has been eradicted elsewhere in the country but persists in Yellowstone's bison and elk herds. Last winter government and civilian hunters killed 1,601 migrating bison to guard against transmissions of the disease to livestock.

A bill pending before the Montana Legislature would block the quarantined animals' relocation.