Nov 6, 2012 - The Associated PressBILLINGS, Mont. -- A legal dispute over whether migrating bison can roam freely across 70,000 acres outside Yellowstone National Park is before a Montana judge after attorneys offered closing arguments in the case Monday.
State officials opened the Gardiner Basin just north of the park to migrating bison last year after they had been barred for decades.
It was an attempt to curb periodic slaughters that have killed thousands of the animals to prevent the spread of the disease brucellosis to cattle.
But county officials and ranchers who live outside the park want state District Judge Wayne Phillips to restore restrictions on the animals' movements.
They say the bison threaten the safety of residents in the basin and could spread brucellosis to livestock.
Get your copy of The Ranger online, every day! If you are a current print subscriber and want to also access dailyranger.com online (there is nothing more to purchase) including being able to download The Mining and Energy Edition, click here. Looking to start a new online subscription to dailyranger.com (even if it is for just one day)? Access our secure SSL encrypted server and start your subscription now by clicking here.