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By Tim Leeds 

Prairie foundation hopes to reassure Stockgrowers

 


The North Central Montana Stockgrowers Association spent some time during its annual meeting to hold a panel discussion about what the American Prairie Foundation is doing.

The panel consisted of APF president Sean Gerrity, Manager of Field Operations for APF Bryce Christensen, former Blaine County commissioner and local rancher Art Kleinjan and head of the Montana Community Preservation Alliance Mike Ereaux.

Though questions were open to everyone, most were directed to Gerrity about the intentions of foundation.

He attempte to reassure stockgrowers, particularly on the subject of the monument mentioned in a Bureau of Land Management memo that sparked an outcry and necessitated a meeting in Malta in September.

That meeting drew more than 2,000 people, including both the foundation and the alliance.

"We don't care about a monument," Gerrity said. "I'm not for it. I'm not against it. I don't understand it."

Gerrity also talked about being under the same pressure as the ranchers, needing to reap profit. He mentioned how much money his organization is bringing into Blaine and Phillips counties.

Ereaux remained skeptical throughout the meeting. He felt that the American Prairie Foundation was another in a group of assailants on Montana ranching life. One sympathetic rancher yelled out at the meeting, "It's a legacy!"

"Every time another rancher in Phillips County sells out, that's another family gone, another opportunity for a younger rancher to come in, gone," Ereaux said. "The state and federal governments don't need any more land.

"They don't know how to take care of what the have. We do."

Gerrity again reassured Ereaux, and the rest present, that he was not trying to back a government land grab, and had in fact brought in new ranchers. He told them that the foundation has brought new young ranchers in, a young family from Billings, to keep Montana ranching alive.

Many stockgrowers were concerned with the foundation's dedication to raising bison near their farms, including bison escaping and messing with other ranches or distributing brucellosis among their cattle.

The foundation told the stockgrowers that there were a number of reasons they shouldn't worry.

The first, that they only had just over 200 head of bison currently and are very slowly trying to raise that number. Next year they'll try 300.

The second is that all of his bison are thoroughly checked for any problems multiple times before they reach the ranches.

The third was that they have adequate fencing in place. And if it proves inadequate, the foundation can't act quickly enough and gives the intruded ranchers permission, the rancher can kill the animals to prevent damages.

The meeting ended with the American Prairie Foundation telling the stockgrowers that they all worry about the same things: government intervention and prices, and the Montana Community Preservation Alliance told the stockgrowers to check out the APF website at http://www.AmericanPrairie.org to check out who they are, where they get their $4.5 million a year and where it goes.

The North Central Montana Stockgrowers Association spent some time during its annual meeting to hold a panel discussion about what the American Prairie Foundation is doing.

The panel consisted of APF president Sean Gerrity, Manager of Field Operations for APF Bryce Christensen, former Blaine County commissioner and local rancher Art Kleinjan and head of the Montana Community Preservation Alliance Mike Ereaux.

Though questions were open to everyone, most were directed to Gerrity about the intentions of foundation.

He attempte to reassure stockgrowers, particularly on the subject of the monument mentioned in a Bureau of Land Management memo that sparked an outcry and necessitated a meeting in Malta in September.

That meeting drew more than 2,000 people, including both the foundation and the alliance.

"We don't care about a monument," Gerrity said. "I'm not for it. I'm not against it. I don't understand it."

Gerrity also talked about being under the same pressure as the ranchers, needing to reap profit. He mentioned how much money his organization is bringing into Blaine and Phillips counties.

Ereaux remained skeptical throughout the meeting. He felt that the American Prairie Foundation was another in a group of assailants on Montana ranching life. One sympathetic rancher yelled out at the meeting, "It's a legacy!"

"Every time another rancher in Phillips County sells out, that's another family gone, another opportunity for a younger rancher to come in, gone," Ereaux said. "The state and federal governments don't need any more land.

"They don't know how to take care of what the have. We do."

Gerrity again reassured Ereaux, and the rest present, that he was not trying to back a government land grab, and had in fact brought in new ranchers. He told them that the foundation has brought new young ranchers in, a young family from Billings, to keep Montana ranching alive.

Many stockgrowers were concerned with the foundation's dedication to raising bison near their farms, including bison escaping and messing with other ranches or distributing brucellosis among their cattle.

The foundation told the stockgrowers that there were a number of reasons they shouldn't worry.

The first, that they only had just over 200 head of bison currently and are very slowly trying to raise that number. Next year they'll try 300.

The second is that all of his bison are thoroughly checked for any problems multiple times before they reach the ranches.

The third was that they have adequate fencing in place. And if it proves inadequate, the foundation can't act quickly enough and gives the intruded ranchers permission, the rancher can kill the animals to prevent damages.

The meeting ended with the American Prairie Foundation telling the stockgrowers that they all worry about the same things: government intervention and prices, and the Montana Community Preservation Alliance told the stockgrowers to check out the APF website at http://www.AmericanPrairie.org to check out who they are, where they get their $4.5 million a year and where it goes.

The North Central Montana Stockgrowers Association spent some time during its annual meeting to hold a panel discussion about what the American Prairie Foundation is doing.

The panel consisted of APF president Sean Gerrity, Manager of Field Operations for APF Bryce Christensen, former Blaine County commissioner and local rancher Art Kleinjan and head of the Montana Community Preservation Alliance Mike Ereaux.

Though questions were open to everyone, most were directed to Gerrity about the intentions of foundation.

He attempte to reassure stockgrowers, particularly on the subject of the monument mentioned in a Bureau of Land Management memo that sparked an outcry and necessitated a meeting in Malta in September.

That meeting drew more than 2,000 people, including both the foundation and the alliance.

"We don't care about a monument," Gerrity said. "I'm not for it. I'm not against it. I don't understand it."

Gerrity also talked about being under the same pressure as the ranchers, needing to reap profit. He mentioned how much money his organization is bringing into Blaine and Phillips counties.

Ereaux remained skeptical throughout the meeting. He felt that the American Prairie Foundation was another in a group of assailants on Montana ranching life. One sympathetic rancher yelled out at the meeting, "It's a legacy!"

"Every time another rancher in Phillips County sells out, that's another family gone, another opportunity for a younger rancher to come in, gone," Ereaux said. "The state and federal governments don't need any more land.

"They don't know how to take care of what the have. We do."

Gerrity again reassured Ereaux, and the rest present, that he was not trying to back a government land grab, and had in fact brought in new ranchers. He told them that the foundation has brought new young ranchers in, a young family from Billings, to keep Montana ranching alive.

Many stockgrowers were concerned with the foundation's dedication to raising bison near their farms, including bison escaping and messing with other ranches or distributing brucellosis among their cattle.

The foundation told the stockgrowers that there were a number of reasons they shouldn't worry.

The first, that they only had just over 200 head of bison currently and are very slowly trying to raise that number. Next year they'll try 300.

The second is that all of his bison are thoroughly checked for any problems multiple times before they reach the ranches.

The third was that they have adequate fencing in place. And if it proves inadequate, the foundation can't act quickly enough and gives the intruded ranchers permission, the rancher can kill the animals to prevent damages.

The meeting ended with the American Prairie Foundation telling the stockgrowers that they all worry about the same things: government intervention and prices, and the Montana Community Preservation Alliance told the stockgrowers to check out the APF website at http://www.AmericanPrairie.org to check out who they are, where they get their $4.5 million a year and where it goes.

The North Central Montana Stockgrowers Association spent some time during its annual meeting to hold a panel discussion about what the American Prairie Foundation is doing.

The panel consisted of APF president Sean Gerrity, Manager of Field Operations for APF Bryce Christensen, former Blaine County commissioner and local rancher Art Kleinjan and head of the Montana Community Preservation Alliance Mike Ereaux.

Though questions were open to everyone, most were directed to Gerrity about the intentions of foundation.

He attempte to reassure stockgrowers, particularly on the subject of the monument mentioned in a Bureau of Land Management memo that sparked an outcry and necessitated a meeting in Malta in September.

That meeting drew more than 2,000 people, including both the foundation and the alliance.

"We don't care about a monument," Gerrity said. "I'm not for it. I'm not against it. I don't understand it."

Gerrity also talked about being under the same pressure as the ranchers, needing to reap profit. He mentioned how much money his organization is bringing into Blaine and Phillips counties.

Ereaux remained skeptical throughout the meeting. He felt that the American Prairie Foundation was another in a group of assailants on Montana ranching life. One sympathetic rancher yelled out at the meeting, "It's a legacy!"

"Every time another rancher in Phillips County sells out, that's another family gone, another opportunity for a younger rancher to come in, gone," Ereaux said. "The state and federal governments don't need any more land.

"They don't know how to take care of what the have. We do."

Gerrity again reassured Ereaux, and the rest present, that he was not trying to back a government land grab, and had in fact brought in new ranchers. He told them that the foundation has brought new young ranchers in, a young family from Billings, to keep Montana ranching alive.

Many stockgrowers were concerned with the foundation's dedication to raising bison near their farms, including bison escaping and messing with other ranches or distributing brucellosis among their cattle.

The foundation told the stockgrowers that there were a number of reasons they shouldn't worry.

The first, that they only had just over 200 head of bison currently and are very slowly trying to raise that number. Next year they'll try 300.

The second is that all of his bison are thoroughly checked for any problems multiple times before they reach the ranches.

The third was that they have adequate fencing in place. And if it proves inadequate, the foundation can't act quickly enough and gives the intruded ranchers permission, the rancher can kill the animals to prevent damages.

The meeting ended with the American Prairie Foundation telling the stockgrowers that they all worry about the same things: government intervention and prices, and the Montana Community Preservation Alliance told the stockgrowers to check out the APF website at http://www.AmericanPrairie.org to check out who they are, where they get their $4.5 million a year and where it goes.

 

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