A local stockgrowers association will meet in Chinook Saturday, with discussions to include a topic of high interest over the summer — what should be done to preserve the Montana prairies.
The North Central Montana Stockgrowers annual meeting agenda has a panel discussion titled “Debunking the Myth: A Vision for Montana Prairies” with panelists to include a representative of the American Prairie Foundation.
That foundation has advocated creating an immense bison reserve in north-central Montana, which was a major topic of discussion after a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation internal document that included investigating creating a national monument in Phillips and Blaine counties was leaked to the public.
The furor over that item led to Bureau of Reclamation Director Bob Abbey holding a meeting in Malta in September. Abbey told audience members — with a high level of skepticism from much of the audience — that the document was for planning purposes only and nothing was in the works to create such a monument.
The Stockgrowers meeting — which starts at the Pastime Bar in Chinook — will move to the meeting room of the Blaine County Library for the panel discussion, set to start at 3:30 p.m.
Other panelists include former Blaine County Comm-issioner Art Kleinjan, who will give a Blaine County rancher’s perspective; Dana Darlington of Big Sandy, representing the Missouri River Stewards, a group organized after the designation of the Upper Missouri River Breaks Monument; and Mike Ereaux of the Montana Community Preservation Alliance, a group formed to oppose designation of the bison-range monument.
The Stockgrowers meeting starts at 1 p.m. at the Pastime with a tax update provided by Galusha, Higgins and Galusha, followed by the association’s business meeting from 1:30 to 3 p.m.