HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Legislature is moving ahead with plans to restrict where wild bison can be moved within the state and to decrease the size of herds.

The bills underscore the division between conservationists who want to see free-roaming bison and the ranchers who say the animal's time has passed.

The measures are in part a response to last year's relocation of dozens of Yellowstone National Park bison to the Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana.

Landowners worry bison will bring disease to cattle and damage property.

The state Senate gave its initial approval Thursday to a bill to prohibit the relocation of bison from Yellowstone and encourage hunting.

A Senate committee endorsed a separate measure Thursday that would make the state wildlife agency responsible should any relocated bison damage property.