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Landowners want captured bison declared livestock

By Associated Press
Published On: Oct 18 2013 05:14:35 AM MDT
BISON 1
GREAT FALLS, Mont. -

Landowners and others that opposed transferring Yellowstone National Park bison to Indian reservations in northern Montana are asking a state judge to declare that any bison captured outside the park are considered "livestock" rather than "wildlife."
    
The Great Falls Tribune reports the group Citizens for Balanced Use filed a brief on Sept. 16 arguing that bison in the quarantine program are no longer wild.
    
Their attorneys note that in a recent Supreme Court ruling, Chief Justice Mike McGrath commented that the bison being transferred to the reservations arguably are not "wild buffalo or bison" as defined in Montana law because they had been held in quarantine for years.
    
Attorneys for Earthjustice counter that if putting wildlife in captivity makes them livestock, it would be impossible to do any wildlife restoration.