Planes, trucks and bison boxes: Alaska officials prepare for restoration of wild wood bison

Wood bison, North America's largest land mammal, could reappear in their native U.S. habitat soon.

If the weather cooperates, Alaska wildlife officials on Sunday plan to move the first of a new herd to a rural village for eventual release into the Innoko (in-NOH'-koh) Flats about 350 miles southwest of Fairbanks.

Wood bison were native to Alaska but disappeared more than a century ago. They're larger than plains bison, the other subspecies of American bison.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Cathie Harms says 100 will be trucked from a conservation center in Portage to Anchorage for an hour flight to the village of Shageluk (SHAG'-eh-luk).

The Alaska animals were obtained from stock in Canada.

Wood bison feed on grasses, sedges and Alaska's abundant willow.