Tribes petition for bison relocation to Wyo. reservation
Written byThe Associated Press
In Wyoming, two American Indian tribes are petitioning Montana for a group of bison that were sent to a ranch owned by Ted Turner.
The bison originally hail from Yellowstone National Park, and leaders of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes want the animals transferred to the Wind River Indian Reservation. In the resolution, leaders say the bison are an important cultural symbol the tribe can preserve.
The move comes as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar works to relocate bison to more suitable public and tribal lands. Salazar's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the past 20 years, thousands of bison were killed to stem the spread of the disease brucellosis to livestock. The bison in question were placed on Turner's ranch as part of a quarantine program. The nearly 200 bison were supposed to relocate to the reservation several years ago, but they were sent to Turner's ranch when the tribe's proposal did not go forward.
Before the 1800s, millions of bison roamed the West, but numbers have rapidly declined as a result of overhunting. Yellowstone has one of the most robust remaining populations with more than 4,200 bison.