HELENA, Mont. (July 28, 2022) – Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) concerns and member protests were not addressed before the release of the final decision for the American Prairie Reserve Change Application for bison on seven grazing allotments.
“To say we are disappointed with the final decision would be an understatement. Ranchers have worked diligently for over a century caring for the public land livestock graze. Ranchers are held to the highest standards by federal land agencies in the areas of range management, range monitoring, range improvements, and processes within the BLM’s grazing regulations, yet when concerns were raised regarding these areas in comments and protests, BLM did not acknowledge these concerns.”MSGA President, Jim Steinbeisser
MSGA and its members have consistently provided comments regarding concerns with APR’s proposals. These include concerns over the impacts to the rangeland health, riparian areas, and socioeconomic impacts to the rural communities and the livestock industry. The final decision published today did not address the concerns brought forth by our association, as well as numerous other ranching families.
In recent years, MSGA has raised a variety of issues with the APR’s request to BLM to change the class of livestock from cattle to bison, change the authorized seasons-of-use, and the removal of interior fences and have shared disappointment in the BLM’s draft EA and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). Six out of seven allotments were awarded changes requested by the APR, with only slight modifications.
The final decision is a significant change to grazing on federal lands and will have serious repercussions on BLM grazing throughout the West.
MSGA will continue to advocate for Montana ranchers as this process moves forward and have engaged with Phillips County Stockgrowers Association to coordinate an effort moving forward.
The Montana Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots membership organization and is the trusted voice of cattle ranchers. With a 135 year history, MSGA advocates and ensures cattle ranching remains relevant, safe and a sustainable way of life for generations to come.
Director of Marketing & Communications
[email protected] view more MSGA news, visit https://mtbeef.org/news/