GREAT FALLS — The Public Lands Council (PLC) Thursday kicked off its sold-out Annual Meeting in Great Falls by welcoming more than 200 industry leaders to a community barbecue and block party.
The meeting will run through Saturday and includes an impressive lineup of speakers from government agencies, academic communities, industry associations, and ranching outfits in the West.
The event covers a wide variety of subjects from political updates, to panel discussions exploring recreation, wildlife, preference grazing rights, and more.
Attendees also will get a private look at the C.M. Russell Museum’s exclusive Return to Calgary exhibit, and can network at the group’s Friday night banquet.
The meeting also features official organization business, providing an opportunity for members to vote on the direction of policy efforts for the coming year.
“The complexity of federal lands grazing permits brings challenges to ranchers who operate on public lands,” said PLC President Bob Skinner. “PLC is the only organization that advocates exclusively on behalf of these individuals. To do that effectively, we need to talk about these issues and ensure federal lands ranchers’ voices are heard.”
Attendees can share information with organization leadership, agency officials, and many important decision-makers throughout the meeting, and will also learn from their fellow producers as well.
One opportunity is through the scheduled range tour of the Rocky Mountain front that provides a firsthand look at predator challenges for livestock producers.
“We will be right in the heart of an area exploding with apex predators,” explained Skinner. “This is an issue that is important to not only folks in Montana, but ranchers from all across the West.”
“The PLC Annual Meeting is always special, and I’m looking forward to a week with my peers as we connect on important industry issues and come together to ensure our voice is heard in the halls of Congress this coming year.”