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Updated Apr 27, 2014 - 8:26 am

Public meetings to be held on Grand Canyon bison

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Public meetings are scheduled to help guide officials in crafting a management plan for bison in far northern Arizona.

The bison were introduced in the early 1900s as part of a ranching operating to crossbreed them with cattle. The state owns the hundreds of bison that roam the northern reaches of the Grand Canyon. But the animals have been making their home almost exclusively within the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park.

Federal and state officials are looking to manage the bison in a way that rids them from the park and allows for a free-ranging populating that can be hunted on forest land.

Public meetings are scheduled for Monday in Kanab, Utah; Tuesday in Flagstaff; and Wednesday in Phoenix.

Online meetings also are planned.

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