In wake of COVID-19, MPLC has reached out to the US
Forest Service, BLM and other land management agencies within the state to
ensure our agriculture operations are not unduly affected by any federal
We have asked the agencies to prioritize:
Preventing delays for turnouts on federal allotments this spring/summer, including conducting AOIs over the phone (if possible);
Using existing tools and flexibilities to allow turnout on allotments for 2020 if annual meetings are unable to be completed prior to the turnout date;
Continued preparation for the upcoming fire season, including hiring of seasonal fire crews;
Continued gathers of horses and burros from overstocked HMAs;
Progress on various regulatory items, including BLM grazing permitting, codification of incidental take parameters under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and finalizing changes to the National Environmental Policy Act; and
Increased coordination among agencies and permittees to conduct rangeland monitoring and other staff/labor-intensive on-the-ground activities.
Both Forest Service and BLM staff have said they expect to conduct a significant portion of annual grazing meetings over the phone. Both agencies are working to conduct “business as usual” and at this time do not expect interruptions to turnouts.
As we move forward, MPLC will work with our state and national partners to adapt to any changes.
CONTACT: Keni Reese Director of Marketing & Communications, MSGA 406-603-4024 [email protected]