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In this photo taken April 24 on the Fort Peck Reservation near Polar Montana is a herd of bison. Western lawmakers are seeking to elevate the plains bison to a status similar to that of the iconic bald eagle with legislation to declare the burly animal America's "national mammal."

Bison, America's mammal: Lawmakers introduce bill to elevate burly beast to iconic status

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- Western lawmakers want to elevate the Plains bison to a status similar to that of the iconic bald eagle with legislation to declare the burly beasts America's "national mammal."

Bison advocates launched a "vote bison" public relations campaign Friday to coincide with the bill.

The National Bison Legacy Act introduced in the Senate is backed by lawmakers from Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Rhode Island.

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