BLM Decision Favors a Majority of APR Grazing Change Requests 

March 30, 2022

Family ranchers and community stakeholders are disappointed by today’s announcement by the Bureau of Land Management’s decision granting a majority of changes to grazing allotments the American Prairie Reserve in Phillips County. 

The Bureau of Land Management has announced a notice of proposed decision of a Finding of No Significant Impact in the request by the American Prairie Reserve affecting 7 BLM allotments in Phillips County. In short, it means that the American Prairie Reserve seems to be getting everything they wanted when it comes to changing those public land allotments in changing the status of livestock from grazing from cattle to "domestic indigenous livestock (bison)" and removing and changing interior fencing. 

PODCAST: Listen to our networks Lane Nordlund discuss the BLM/APR news with the Montana Stockgrowers Association's  Exec. VP Jay Bodner and association President  Jim Steinbeiser..

Family ranchers and community stakeholders are disappointed in the government's announcement today. The Montana Stockgrowers Association Executive Vice President Jay Bodner said the BLM has failed to listen to all the concerns of all parties and community members. 

"I think certainly from our organization, we did submit very substantial comments and those were not recognized in any of this decision," said Bodner. "We are very concerned and very disappointed in this decision. Certainly it's going to require some additional actions to get our concerns address."

The proposed decision comprises approximately 63,065 acres of BLM administered lands and currently provides 7900 animal units.

"Four allotments will be allowed to change the class of livestock from cattle to bison," said Bodner. "It did change a number of those seasons of uses. It also did allow for removal of interior fencing to a number of the grazing allotments."

So, what does this all mean?

"Well, certainly it is going to promote or continue to promote kind of the efforts that APR has to expand their bison grazing across the landscape," said Bodner. "This Environmental Assessment really doesn't touch on the economics or the socio-economic impacts that at bison have on the landscape. We really do see that as a real deficiency in this document.

This is a developing story. Check back here to Western Ag Network online for up-to-date information. 

Read the Full BLM Announcement Below

Source: Western Ag Network, BLM