TAKE ACTION

We all have a role to play in the policies that surround the livestock industry. MSGA has identified several opportunities for your voice to be heard.

Check below to view current public comment opportunities.

The commission adopted “Final Elk Season Guidelines – Flexible season structure with performance-based shoulder seasons” on October 8, 2015. From that document: “A ‘shoulder season’ here is defined as: any firearm season printed in the hunting regulations that occurs outside the 5-week general firearm season between August 15 and February 15 in one or more hunting districts or portion(s) thereof. Examples might include B licenses or general seasons extended early or late or additional sets of B licenses or permits valid early or late. Shoulder seasons here do not include early backcountry hunts, primitive weapon hunts, game damage hunts, management seasons, or season extensions.” The stated intent was to supplement existing antlerless elk harvest, not replace or reduce harvest during existing general archery or firearm seasons. Elk shoulder seasons provide the ability to harvest more antlerless elk, although the distribution of the harvest may not be consistent temporally.

Several hunting districts (HDs) currently remain above objective even with late shoulder seasons. The commission may consider extending shoulder seasons in HDs that have late seasons that currently end before Feb. 15, 2022, to increase antlerless harvest or alter elk distributions. Any extension could apply to all license-permit types valid in those HDs with associated restrictions (e.g., not valid on NF lands).

Currently, those elk HDs include: 262, 290, 298, 390, 391, 393, 411, 417, 502, 510, 511, 520, 530, 540, 560, 575, 580, and 590.

For further clarification or additional materials, please call the Wildlife Division office at 406-444-2612 or send an email to [email protected]. Comments will be accepted online by using the link below, in writing sent to the address above, and by email to [email protected].

COMMENT PERIOD DEADLINE & FINAL ADOPTION MEETING

Comments on the proposed items will be accepted until Monday, July 26, 2021, at 5 p.m., with final adoption at the August 2021 commission meeting.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Extends public comment period to Sept 28, 2021 on APR bison proposal draft EA and FONSI.

July 13, 2021 -The public now has a total of 90 days to submit comments on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a bison grazing proposal on BLM-administered lands in Phillips County, Montana.

In response to concerns regarding the original 60-day comment period potentially conflicting with summertime farming commitments, John Mehlhoff, BLM Montana-Dakotas state director, extended the public review and comment period for the American Prairie Reserve (APR) bison grazing proposal draft EA & FONSI through Sept. 28.

Read more >>

July 1, 2021 – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is requesting public comment regarding their draft environmental assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for bison grazing proposal submitted by the American Prairie Reserve (APR).

MSGA will be submitting comments on this issue. To read more about MSGA’s stance on this issue check out the links below:

The public comment period will run from July 1 through Sept 28, 2021. The BLM encourages public review and comment on the Draft EA and FONSI by visiting the BLM’s ePlanning website at https://eplanning.blm.gov.

Search using the NEPA number: DOI-BLM-MT-L010-2018-0007-EA.

Public comments may also be submitted via the U.S. Postal Service addressed to:
BLM Malta Field Office
Re: APR Grazing Proposal
501 South 2nd Street East
Malta, MT 59538.

A virtual public meeting is planned for Wednesday, July 21, 1-4 p.m., via Zoom to provide the public an opportunity to comment about the Draft EA and FONSI. Pre-registration is required. See the e-Planning project website for more details.

Public comments submitted may be subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. Please, do not include in your Draft EA/FOSI comments personally identifiable information you do not want to be made public.

Read the BLM’s press release on blm.gov

The Grazing Permit working group will be collecting stories about permit renewal stories – successful, unsuccessful, and in progress. These survey results will be used in developing a permit guide for ranchers and other handy tools for permit administration.

This survey is designed to get long-form feedback from public lands ranchers about terminology commonly used in policy and regulatory conversations about land and resource management. Please provide as much information as possible.