HELENA, Mont. (April 28, 2021) – The Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) along with the Montana Public Lands Council (MPLC) applaud the Resiliency for Ranching and Natural Conservation Health Act (RANCH Act) recently introduced by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY.) This legislation includes positive changes and improvements to the management of grazing permits and leases.
“Our organizations commend this legislation. Public land grazing is critical to Montana ranching families and ranching operations across the West,” commented Jim Steinbeisser, MSGA President. “Finding opportunities for efficiencies as it pertains to grazing permits and renewals is a step in the right direction to lowering the burden for grazing permittees, who diligently preserve and protect the rangelands of Montana.”
The bill would provide much needed adjustments regarding public land grazing and would allow for the temporary utilization of vacant grazing allotments during extreme events or natural disasters, would allow for grazing permits to be authorized up to 20 years when certain conditions are met, and establish a categorical exclusion for the renewal of certain grazing permits.
“This legislation promotes resilient and healthy rangelands and effective grazing management. Through grazing and other ecosystem services, ranchers reduce the intensity and frequency of catastrophic wildfires, work to reduce significant carbon emissions, and protect valuable wildlife habitat,” stated Vicki Olson, MPLC chair.
Additionally, the bill invests fund balances in the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to an interest bearing account and directs a portion of the interest revenue towards rangeland improvement and short-term access.
Read the text of the RANCH Act here.
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