Montana governor drops bison plan, says he’s protecting ranchers

National News

FILE – In an April 24, 2012, file photo, a herd of bison stand in a pen on the Fort Peck Reservation near Poplar, Mont. Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has ended a bison management plan that would have allowed the wide-ranging animals to be restored in more areas of the state. The Republican announced Tuesday, April 20, 2021, that the state had settled a lawsuit brought the year before against the administration of his Democratic predecessor over adoption of the bison plan. Gianforte said he was acting to protect ranchers and farmers. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has ended a bison management plan that would have allowed the animals to be restored in more areas of the state.

The Republican announced Tuesday that the state had settled a lawsuit brought last year against the administration of his Democratic predecessor over the adoption of the bison plan.

Gianforte said he was acting to protect ranchers and farmers.

Bison in sufficient numbers could compete with livestock for forage on public grazing lands. The idea of restoring bison to more areas of Montana had been met with enthusiasm by wildlife advocates, who have long pushed for the animals to be treated by the state as free-roaming wildlife.

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