U.S. officials on slot Wednesday announced approval of a conservation group's proposal to expand bison grazing on prairies in north-central Montana as part of a vast nature reserve over objections from some ranchers and elected officials.
The decision allows the American Prairie group to graze bison on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property and to remove about 30 miles (48 kilometers) of fences so the animals can roam more freely.
The Bozeman-based group already has more than 800 bison on a mix of public and private land. Its long-term goal is to piece together a 5,000-square-mile (12,950-square-kilometer) expanse that would include the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge and have thousands of bison and other wildlife.