BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- The return of wild bison to tribal lands in northeast Montana will be challenged in state court Wednesday by opponents seeking to block further relocations of the animals.
Judge John McKeon has scheduled a Wednesday hearing in Chinhook over whether the relocations are legal.
More than 60 bison from Yellowstone National Park were relocated to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in March.
Half are slated to be transferred to the Fort Belknap Reservation, but a coalition of property rights groups, ranchers and state lawmakers are lined up in opposition.
They say bison could spread disease, knock down fences and eat hay meant for cattle.
State officials including Gov. Brian Schweitzer support the return of bison to lands they occupied until overhunting almost wiped out the species in the 19th century.
Copyright 2012 The AP.