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Legislators Want Engagement Regarding American Prairie

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and Reps. Matt Rosendale and Ryan Zinke have sent a letter urging the Biden administration to hold its appeals hearing concerning the American Prairie Reserve Grazing Proposal in Malta, Montana, instead of Billings, which is over 200 miles away from Phillips County. This would allow Montanans most affected by the proposal to easily attend the hearing.

“The American Prairie Reserve’s proposal, if implemented, will open nearly 70,000 acres in Phillips County to grazing by non-production livestock, eliminate interior fencing, and modify the season of use. This proposal has major implications on the local community as well as agriculture and recreation users. It is important that local land use changes and conflicts are discussed in local communities where members from all sides of the issue are able to easily attend.

“As you know, the distance between Malta and Billings is over 200 miles, accounting for nearly a three and a half hour drive each direction. This distance, time, and fuel cost makes it difficult for those who are most affected to be present during the hearing. Malta has adequate resources to logistically host this event in-person, including ample lodging accommodations and sufficient meeting spaces. Holding a hearing in the affected area makes the most sense for all those involved,” they wrote.

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