U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today sent a letter to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Tracy Stone-Manning demanding an explanation for the flagrant dismissal of Montana ag groups’ concerns in the decision making process for the America Prairie Reserve Grazing Proposal.
“On July 28, 2022, the Bureau of Land Management issued a Final Decision for the America Prairie Reserve Grazing Proposal covering nearly 70,000 acres of land in Phillips County. As you know first-hand, given the unprecedented nature of this proposal—authorizing grazing by non-production livestock, eliminating interior fencing, and modifying the season of use—this proposal has garnered controversy and raised concern from the agriculture sector, the life-blood of Montana’s rural economy,” Daines wrote.
“Given the agriculture sector’s conservation legacy, it was disappointing to see the Bureau of Land Management rush towards a final decision on the proposal without first responding to concerns raised. Unfortunately, given the Biden administration’s refusal to collaborate with relevant state agencies and hold sufficient opportunities for local engagement on the Bureau of Land Management’s decision, Montanans still have unanswered questions over a year after the draft Environmental Analysis was released,” Daines continued.
Read Senator Daines’ full letter HERE.
In April, Senator Daines joined Congressman Matt Rosendale in urging the Biden Administration to extend the protest period on the proposed APR decision. Despite receiving over 2,700 comments on the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) from Montana state government agencies, businesses, associations, and thousands of concerned individuals, BLM did not change course.
On July 28, Senator Daines released a statement on the Biden Administration’s approval of the APR bison grazing request, calling the decision “another example of the Biden administration ignoring local input from Montana ranchers,” and promised to work closely with Governor Gianforte and state and local officials to find a way to support Montana farmers and ranchers.