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ANCHORAGE (Reuters) - North America's largest living land mammals could roam the Alaska wilderness again by 2014, a century after they vanished in the state, under an agreement announced on Thursday to reintroduce wood bison to the lower Yukon River area.

State and federal officials said the deal used provisions of the Endangered Species Act to classify the bison as a "nonessential experimental population" in Alaska - meaning that protecting them would not hinder development, including oil drilling or mining. The animal is classified as threatened.

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