Yellowstone is now home to more than 4,000 bison.
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New herds of genetically pure wild bison may once again roam vast expanses of the American West where the iconic animal has been absent since the end of the 19th century, under a tentative plan federal officials advanced on Wednesday.
The proposal, for which Yellowstone National Park officials have begun seeking public comment, is almost sure to draw staunch opposition from ranchers concerned about disease, competition for grass and property destruction from straying bison.
Yellowstone is now home to more than 4,000 bison, or buffalo, constituting the bulk of the country’s last pure-bred population of the animals.