The Montana Supreme Court has affirmed the decision of a lower court, allowing wild bison room to roam outside the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park. The ruling upholds a February 2012 decision by Montana state agencies to allow bison seasonal access to important winter and early spring habitat outside the north boundary of the park in the Gardiner Basin area until May 1 of each year.

Two lawsuits filed by the Park County Stockgrowers Association, Montana Farm Bureau Federation, and Park County, Montana, sought to block implementation of the new policy and require state officials to adhere to outdated plans for bison hazing and slaughter.

In a news release, Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso, who defended the bison policy in the case on behalf of the Bear Creek Council (BCC), Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC), and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said that now that the Court has rejected claims requiring bison to be slaughtered at the park’s boundaries, we can move forward to secure space for wild bison outside of Yellowstone National Park.