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Judge Denies Request to Stop Montana Bison Transfer

Ranchers who oppose the transfer of dozens of bison from Yellowstone National Park to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation are resubmitting their request for a Montana judge to send the animals back to Yellowstone.

Judge John McKeon turned down an earlier request Tuesday, but addressed only procedural issues.

Fort Peck Chairman Floyd Azure said the state no longer had jurisdiction over the animals and they were “here to stay” on the reservation.

Tribal officials said they plan to keep the 62 newly arrived bison in a 2-acre holding corral for several months. They say they plan to address concerns bison could escape and cause property damage or mingle with cattle.

Under the transfer agreement, state officials or local landowners could be permitted to kill the bison if they leave their pasture.

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