- Associated Press - Monday, October 12, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona officials are embarking on an effort to help conserve the American bison.

The Game and Fish Department said state officials recently signed an agreement with federal Interior Department officials to establish a bison herd with genetic lineage from the Wind Cave National Park in western South Dakota.

The new herd is to be established in a state-owned wildlife area in northern Arizona.

According to the Game and Fish Department, establishment of the herd is part of a national effort to conserve bison lineages that have high genetic purity, genetic diversity, and rare bison genes.

The department now manages two bison herds that are descendants from an unsuccessful effort to cross-breed bison and cattle more than 100 years ago.

The department says both herds have high levels of cattle DNA.

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