Rangeland Resource Program
The Rangeland Resource Program has four major areas of emphasis:
• working with county range committees, conservation districts, and producer groups to foster sound rangeland management;
• encouraging coordination and cooperation between private, state, and federal entities involved in range management;
• administering the Rangeland Improvement Loan Program; and
• co-sponsoring the Annual Range Tour, Winter Grazing Seminar, and Montana Youth Range Camp.
The program receives guidance from the Rangeland Resource Executive Committee, is composed of six ranchers located across the state and appointed by the governor. Members include:
Steve Hedstrom, Chairman, Raynesford
John Hollenback, Vice Chairman, Gold Creek
Tracy Hentges, rancher from Northern Montana, Wolf Point
Les Gilman, rancher from Western Montana, Alder
Diane Ahlgren, rancher from Eastern Montana, Winnett
Noel Keogh, rancher from Southern Montana, Nye
In addition, an ad hoc committee of agency and organization personnel serves in an advisory capacity to the executive committee.
No meetings scheduled at this time.
CD staff work to strengthen local grazing management programs by helping sponsor workshops, tours, and demonstration projects. Examples of these activities include the Annual Range Tour, Montana Youth Range Camp, and Winter Grazing Seminar. The 2005 Legislature and the executive branch approved the re-establishment for a rangeland resource program specialist.
A loan program was started in 1979 for the purpose of improving rangelands in Montana. To date, 236 applications have been received for loans totaling $4,633,989; 44 loans totaling $515,779 are in repayment status. A typical rangeland loan project involves drilling a well and installing underground water lines to supply stock tanks. These stock tanks are usually in areas where water is insufficient or unsuitable for livestock. The projects are sometimes combined with cross fencing and an overall grazing plan to improve the rangeland. Over 1 million acres of Montana rangeland have been improved using funds from this program.