Montana tries to advance bison conservation against opposition; Bullock vows no mass movements

Montana officials are reviving efforts to craft a statewide bison-conservation plan that stalled amid a backlash from ranchers worried about new herds competing with cattle.

A broad strategy for managing bison in Montana has been in the works since 2010. Concerted opposition from ranchers has slowed the initiative, and officials recently scaled back expectations for bison in new areas.

Gov. Steve Bullock told The Associated Press he has no plan to introduce large numbers of bison across the state. But he says it's appropriate to continue evaluating the animals' future in Montana.

A two-day forum on bison is scheduled for July 14 and 15 in Billings. State officials originally planned that meeting for April in Lewistown but canceled it after ranchers pledged to turn out in opposition.