- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Advocates for Yellowstone National Park’s wild bison are thanking Gov. Steve Bullock for extending the herd’s legal range over 400 square miles outside the park.

Mike Mease, the co-founder of the Buffalo Field Campaign, says Bullock’s decision is a better approach to managing the wild bison population.

Representatives of the group and Native Americans gathered in the Capitol on Thursday.

Wildlife advocates have been critical of the slaughter of some bison that roam outside the park. Ranchers have opposed giving the animals more protections because of limited grazing land and the possible spread of disease.

The governor was not at the Capitol to accept the group’s gratitude. Bullock is in Washington, D.C., for a meeting of the National Governors Association.

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