MSGA actively engages in legislation that provides oversight to state agencies related to agricultural issues.
DEPARTMENT OF LIVESTOCK
We continue to advocate to maintain a stand-alone agency governed by a producer board. We support sufficient funding for the Montana Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, Designated Surveillance Area, and Livestock Loss Program.
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES & CONSERVATION
We encourage creating efficiencies between the Water Court and DNRC to aid in the adjudication process in the Water Resources Division. We support reducing time and cost to accomplish a water right change. We continue to address DNRC’s effort to co-own private water rights.
We support continuing the state land leasing program and the 8,100 current grazing leases. We support school trust lands management which results in revenue from grazing leases that benefit public schools in 2020 approximately $13.3 million in grazing fees supported education.
FISH, WILDLIFE AND PARKS
We support legislation that achieves wildlife population objectives and a balanced management approach for wildlife and private property owners. We encourage local landowners’ input on any wildlife introduction decisions in their county, including bison.
We support the elimination of the Business Equipment Tax, support efforts to reduce Workers’ Compensation costs, and work to ensure agricultural lands are treated as revenue-neutral.
We support the Prior Appropriation Doctrine—first in time, first in right. We prioritize the need for the completion of an accurate and timely adjudication process.
We support adequate funding for state programs, like the Livestock Loss Program, that cover a portion of loss faced by ranchers due to predators. We advocate for reduced conflicts with grizzly bears and wolves. We encourage maintaining funding for the state Sage Grouse program.
PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS
We advocate property owners’ rights are protected. We ensure issues related to land and road access do not impede private property rights.