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YELLOWSTONE PARK BISON

A bison digs under the snow to graze inside Yellowstone National Park, in this undated photograph provided by the National Park Service. Montana officials have approved a plan to expand so-called bison tolerance zones north of Yellowstone National Park by 75,000 acres.

HELENA — Montana officials have approved a plan to expand so-called bison tolerance zones north of Yellowstone National Park by 75,000 acres for migrating animals in search of food.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Montana Department of Livestock issued a joint decision Tuesday approving adjustments to the Interagency Bison Management Plan.

The areas where bison will be allowed to wander will be expanded to the mountain ridges between the Paradise Valley and the Gardiner Basin on the east side of the Yellowstone River. The boundary to the west of the Yellowstone will be the ridgeline between the Tom Miner Basin and the Gardiner Basin.

The agencies say they hope the expansion will decrease the need for hazing stray bison because the animals will seek out the new suitable habitat.

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