Deal reached on Yellowstone wildlife protections

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Yellowstone National Park - A Canadian mining company and a pair of conservation groups have finalized agreements they say will protect two tributaries of the Yellowstone River and part of a crucial migration corridor for thousands of elk from Yellowstone National Park.

Kinross Gold President J. Paul Rollinson signed the agreements on Thursday with representatives of Trout Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

The Toronto-based mining company donated 549 acres and its water rights for two Yellowstone River tributaries near the company's former Mineral Hill Mine site in Jardine, Montana.

The mine closed more than a decade ago and has undergone a major restoration.

Two new mines are proposed in the same area. Members of Montana's congressional delegation say they are committed to blocking future mining near the park but disagree over how that should be done.