AP Exclusive: Colo., SD eyed for Yellowstone bison

December 14, 2011 - 1:15 PM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the government is considering transferring dozens of bison captured outside Yellowstone National Park to federal lands in South Dakota, Colorado and elsewhere.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Salazar told Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer that federal officials are "looking at all options" for moving Yellowstone bison onto federally managed lands.

That includes Badlands National Park in South Dakota and Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.

However, Schweitzer issued an order Tuesday blocking any fish and wildlife shipments by the Interior Department in Montana. The governor wants the bison to go to the National Bison Range in western Montana.

The relocations are part of efforts to avoid the periodic slaughter of bison leaving the park.