Officials draft rule for reintroducing wood bison

Wood Bison

Wood Bison (Photo by Brigette Werner)

Federal and state wildlife officials have drafted a special rule that could allow the reintroduction of wood bison to Alaska.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Department of Fish and Game agreement would designate wood bison as a “non-essential, experimental” population.

That means if wood bison are reintroduced, there will be no designation of land for them as critical habitat, which could affect resource development.

The draft agreement also allows the state to manage future hunting or harvest of the animals.

Doug Vincent-Lang of the state Division of Wildlife Conservation says the rule is a proposal and could change after public comment.

The agencies plan a news conference Thursday to announce the draft rule.

 

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