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Buffalo Roam Into Controversy

The great American buffalo is roaming out of Yellowstone and into a legal dispute. Plus, John Grisham to ’10 graduates.

A group of buffalo, also known as American bison, block a lane of traffic in Yellowstone National Park, while walking towards West Yellowstone, Mont. (AP)

The buffalo of Yellowstone are bold and powerful, symbols of Montana and the West. But the West may be running out of room for them. 

The state of Montana has struck a deal with media mogul Ted Turner to hand over more than eighty buffalo from public lands to his private ranch.

The deal comes at a hefty price. Ted Turner will keep 75 percent of the herd’s offspring. 

The state says this is its only option. Environmentalists are suing.  

This Hour, On Point: America’s mighty buffalo, and what it means when the state of Montana moves them from Yellowstone to Ted Turner’s ranch. Plus, we listen as John Grisham addresses the ’10 grads at UNC.

Guests:

Kirk Johson, Denver bureau chief for the New York Times. Read his article, “Deal Puts Yellowstone Bison on Ted Turner’s Range.”

David Risley, Montana’s Fish and Wildlife Administrator. He helped coordinate the deal that more than 80 bison from Yellowstone to Ted Turner’s ranch.

Summer Nelson, Montana Legal Counsel at the Western Watersheds Project, which has filed a lawsuit along with three other environmental groups against the state for transferring more than 80 bison to Ted Turner’s ranch.

Closing Segment:

In the sixth installment in our continuing graduation season series, we listen to an excerpt of writer John Grisham’s commencement address to the graduates of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. His speech’s theme was “Find A Voice.” You can read the transcript, and watch the full address:   

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The Rev. Jamal Bryant leads a rally outside of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station during a march and vigil for Freddie Gray, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP)

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