More than 120 people have turned out in Deer Lodge for the first of three public hearings on Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' proposal to relocate Yellowstone bison to four possible sites in the state.

One of those sites, the Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area, is just six miles away from the ranching community. Since the state acquired Spotted Dog last year, the site has become ground zero in the debate over whether there is still a place for wild bison on Montana's landscape.

Ranchers and landowners are concerned that wild bison could spread disease and damage fields.

Dozens of people lined up in the Powell County Community Center Wednesday night to give their comments on the proposal.

The comment period ends Oct. 19.

Associated Press