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MONTANA ASSOCIATION OF STATE GRAZING DISTRICTS

Of all the western states, Montana alone has a statutory network of State Grazing Districts (map) cooperative areas of diverse ownership that allow for the greatest use of range forage while conserving limited natural resources. Grazing districts are non-profit, cooperative associations of ranchers and farmers who raise livestock. The Montana Grass Conservation Act of 1939 organized these cooperative grazing areas into 26 districts-which include federal grazing lands mingled with state, county and private lands-encompassing more than 10 million acres. Today there are 29 total districts, concentrated in the eastern part of the state.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), and its Conservation and Resource Development Division, carries out the purposes of the Montana Grass Conservation Act, serving as an advisory capacity to the Department of State Lands and the boards of county commissioners in counties where grazing districts are located.

The Montana Grass Commission, re-created by the Montana State Legislature in 1999, oversees the implementation of the Montana Grass Conservation Act. This commission is also served by an Executive Vice President, Sandra Brown of Terry.

2024 MASGD LEADERSHIP

President: Kevin Elias, Chinook
Vice President: Deanna Robbins, Roy
Past President: Larry “Skip” Ahlgren, Winnett
Executive Secretary/Staff Contact: Ellie Brighton, Helena

Board of Directors:

Troy Blunt, Malta

Llane Carroll, Ekalaka

Connie Ahlgren, Grass Range

Kyle Kluck, Malta

2024 ANNUAL MEETING

The Montana Association of State Grazing Districts (MASGD) invites grazing districts and their members to attend the 2024 MASGD Annual Meeting slated for May 29th, 2024, in Miles City, Mont., at the Custer County Event Center. The meeting will begin at 11:00 a.m. following the joint board meeting of MASGD and the Montana Public Lands Council. 

The meeting will bring together industry leaders to participate in the event. Attendees will hear from officials from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Rangeland Resources Committee. There will also be an issue update from MASGD executive staff and an informational guest speaker. The annual meeting will be held in conjunction with the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s MidYear Meeting.

Time Agenda Item Speaker
11:00 a.m. Welcome and Call to Order Kevin Elias, MASGD President
11:05 a.m. Review and Approval of Minutes Kevin Elias, MASGD President
11:10 a.m. Issues Update Ellie Brighton, MASGD Executive
11:20 a.m. Bureau of Land Management Update David Wood, Conservation Biologist
11:45 a.m. DNRC Rangeland Resources Update Stacey Barta, State Coordinator
12:10 p.m. Grass Bank Program Rancher Stewardship Alliance
Winnett ACES
The Nature Conservancy
12:40 p.m. Election Kevin Elias, MASGD President
12:55 p.m. Other Business Kevin Elias, MASGD President
1:00 p.m. Adjourn

MASGD IN THE NEWS

MASGD Invites Grazing Districts and Their Members to Attend the Annual Meeting

HELENA, Mont. (April 15, 2024) — The Montana Association of State Grazing Districts (MASGD) invites grazing districts and their members to attend the 2024 MASGD Annual Meeting slated for May 29th, 2024, in Miles City, Mont., at the Custer County Event Center. The meeting will begin at 11:00 a.m. following the joint board meeting of …
Continue reading MASGD Invites Grazing Districts and Their Members to Attend the Annual Meeting

MASGD Seeks Historic Photos and Documents Telling the Story of Montana Grazing Districts

HELENA, Mont. (September 29, 2022) – The Montana Association of State Grazing Districts (MASGD) is seeking historic photos or documents from ranchers that tell the more than 80 year story of Montana grazing districts. MASGD has recently launched a preservation project after being awarded a grant from the Montana History Foundation (MHF) and the Montana …
Continue reading MASGD Seeks Historic Photos and Documents Telling the Story of Montana Grazing Districts

MSGA and MPLC Join Coalition Letters to Oppose ESA Introduction Outside Historical Range

HELENA, Mont. (August 8, 2022) – The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) and the Montana Public Lands Council (MPLC) shared their members’ concerns regarding the Endangered Species Act 10(j) proposed rule change by submitting comments this week. The current 10(j) regulations relating to experimental populations restrict the introduction of an experimental population to only the species’ …
Continue reading MSGA and MPLC Join Coalition Letters to Oppose ESA Introduction Outside Historical Range

Montana Public Lands Council Says BLM Has Failed To Protect The Land In APR Grazing Allotment Decision

HELENA, Mont. (July 29, 2022) – Today, Montana Public Lands Council (MPLC) Chair, Vicki Olson, issued the following statement regarding the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final decision for the American Prairie change for bison on seven grazing allotments:  “As the state’s largest organization representing individuals who graze on public lands, the final decision issued …
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Montana Association of State Grazing Districts Elects New Leadership

HELENA, Mont. (May 17, 2022) – The Montana Association of State Grazing Districts (MASGD) conducted its Annual Meeting on May 16 in Lewistown, Montana. Along with the association’s annual business meeting, a new president and vice president were elected to lead the organization. Kevin Elias, of Chinook, was elected by the membership to the role …
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MPLC Receives Film Grant to Tell the Story of Public Lands Grazing

The Montana Public Lands Council was recently awarded a $25,000 Big Sky Film Grant to produce a documentary on public land grazing. The short-form film, which will run five to six minutes, will take a closer look into the story of the American West and the important role public lands play. Of the $1.5 million …
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