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Sec. Zinke Opens Up National Wildlife Refuge for Emergency Grazing Relief

Cattle to arrive on Refuge in coming days.


Date: July 29, 2017

JORDAN, MT – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will open the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (CMR) for emergency grazing relief. Allotments will be made immediately available for ranchers who lost grazing land in the Lodgepole Complex fires.

“We have a saying that Montana is one small town with really long roads, and as a neighbor in that small town, the Department is dedicated to providing disaster relief and resources where possible,” said Secretary Zinke. “When I talk about restoring trust between local communities and the federal government, and being a good neighbor, this is exactly what I mean. My staff and I heard from ranchers, equipment dealers, and other concerned citizens, and we all got to work. I applaud the quick work and flexibility of the team at the CMR for getting this done for the community.”

“This is a difficult time for many families in Montana and we are eager to get to work as neighbors do and help people impacted by this fire disaster. We stand ready to welcome our neighbors in need,” said Paul Santavy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Charles M. Russell Refuge manager.

“I am proud to have worked with Secretary Zinke to find immediate help for our hard working ranching families,” said Senator Steve Daines.

“Secretary Zinke’s decision is a common sense solution to help Montana’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the Lodgepole Complex fires. I appreciate Ryan sharing our sense of urgency and responding quickly to our letter requesting aid,” said Congressman Greg Gianforte. “The fact is we have grass available and hungry cows. Allowing them to graze on retired grazing allotments within the CMR just makes sense.”

H/T:   Free Range Report







  1. The last sentence mentions ‘retired grazing permits’. Here’s another related interesting piece of the pie that explains current grazing permit buyouts (aka: retired permits):

    This entire topic is still in a constitutional dispute given the Bundy Ranch issues (Nevada) and the ongoing attempt at re-sentencing of the Hammonds (Oregon).

    I wonder what this MT Senator and the Sec of Interior think about the overall issue that the Federal Government did not properly turn back over to each State all of some State’s land as they were lawfully required to do when each State joined the United States? Some States still have the federal government unlawfully and unconstitutionally abusing their authority by falsely claiming federal ownership of state land. In truth, the states own the land and the federal government is perpetrating a crime against the people in these states.

  2. This is great news, and I hope that Secy Wilbur Ross will see fit to do similar things in support of the coastal fishing industry! Fish (cod) was actually the nation’s FIRST export product – its continuing importance to our national economy deserves recognition and relief for those who still brave the oceans for a living!

  3. Excuse me, I recall Montana being an open grazing state. If no fence, then cattle, dogs, sheep, and whatever can wonder as they can.

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