HELENA (AP) – The federal, state and tribal agencies that manage Yellowstone National Park bison have agreed to let the animals stay in parts of Montana year-round.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s issued a decision in December to allow bison that roam outside the park in search of food to remain on an estimated 400 square miles north and west of the park.

On April 6, the Interagency Bison Management Plan members verbally agreed to Bullock’s decision.

Officials with the National Park Service and Montana Fish, Governor's Year-round Habitat DecisionWildlife and Parks say the IBMP partners must still update and sign the changes to the bison management plan.

Supporters say it will be the first time in a century bison will be allowed year-round in the state.

Ranchers and landowners are concerned the animals will spread disease and damage property.

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