Offspring of the quarantined bison now being housed north of Yellowstone National Park could fall into private ownership.

That's according to a new request from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks seeking a home for the brucellosis-free herd now being kept in a Corwin Springs facility.

Part-time Montana resident Ted Turner had offered to take the quarantined herd onto his 113,000-acre Flying D ranch south of Bozeman, but only if he was allowed to keep most of the herd's offspring.

FWP has been seeking a private landowner or government agency to take the herd in hopes of reintroducing wild bison to large grassland ecosystems. The bison were captured as calves as they migrated out of Yellowstone National Park in 2005 and 2006, then tested vigorously for brucellosis, a disease that causes bison and cattle to miscarry. Only bison consistently testing negative for the bacteria have remained in the herd.

Originally, FWP stipulated that whom ever took the bison would have to manage them, and their offspring, as wild animals. However, a new FWP document sent to interested parties says that it would entertain proposals like Turner's.

"It is recognized that it may be necessary to recover some costs for maintaining the bison for the study period," the request states. "Therefore, proposals may consider utilizing a portion of the offspring of quarantine bison to recover costs."

That's a switch from previous language in a request put out in June, which stated that "all quarantine bison and their offspring are and will continue to be classified as public wildlife and the management jurisdiction of (FWP).

Last year, FWP had chosen an Indian Reservation in Wyoming to take the herd, but the tribal government later backed out of the deal for fear the herd could spread brucellosis to domestic cattle herds.

Along with Turner, the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in north-central Montana and the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfiled, Ill., amongst others, put in a request to take the bison this summer after the Wind River Reservation backed out.

The deadline for proposals under the revised request is Nov. 2. In the latest document, FWP states the herd totals about 90 bison and must be moved to create space at Corwin Springs for another group of captured bison. FWP says the herd could be moved as soon as February 2010 and sets a deadline for the herd to be out of the facility of April 1, 2010.