BILLINGS — Ranchers from across the west will be traveling to the Big Sky state for the national meeting of the Public Lands Council.
Great Falls will play host to the meeting that will run Sept. 25 through 29.
Since 1968, the PLC has represented the more than 22,000 cattle and sheep producers who hold public lands grazing permits on 250 million acres of us public land. Their annual meeting will address a plethora of issues impacting west.
Ethan Lane, executive director of PLC, said the meeting will focus on issues impacting Montana and the west.
“We get to really focus on issues that are important in Montana’s backyard,” Lane said. “In Montana, predators are always at the forefront. You can't go very far without hearing about wolves and grizzlies. Certainly, that's something that's on the minds not just of Montanans but folks in other parts of the West."
The annual meeting will also host a predator bus tour near Valier, bringing together multiple parties and stakeholders to discuss management of the grizzly bear.
In addition, the meeting will highlight the important role ranchers play in the multi-use and stewardship of the nation's public lands.
“Obviously Montana is ground zero for a lot of sporting groups and land use groups that don't always agree on some of these topics,” Lane said. “We feel like this is a great opportunity to really get into what ranchers bring to the table, what stewardship looks like and what some of these new sorts of rising groups are looking for.”
The PLC wants to invite Montana's ranching families that are stewards of nearly 2 million acres of federal lands to attend this year's event.
“This is going to be an authentically Montana meeting,” Lane said. “We've got of great stuff planned. We will highlight a lot of the local producers. Highlight a lot of the local economy and involvement from the local community. It’s going to be a unique meeting and I think this is going to be something Montanans are going to be excited about. I hope they take that opportunity to come and enjoy with us.”
For more information on the PLC national meeting visit publiclandscouncil.org.