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 Montana Range Tour, Winter Grazing Seminar, and Montana Youth Range Camp.
The program receives guidance from the Rangeland Resource Executive Committee, which is composed of six ranchers located across the state and appointed by the governor. Members include:
Les Gilman, Chairman, Alder
John Hollenback, Gold Creek, Vice Chair
Steve Hedstrom, Raynesford
Diane Ahlgren, Winnett
Noel Keogh, Nye
Connie Iversen, Culbertson
In addition, an ad hoc committee of agency and organization personnel serves in an advisory capacity to the executive committee.
Conservation District Bureau staff work to strengthen local grazing management programs by helping sponsor workshops, tours, and demonstration projects. Examples of these activities include the Montana Range Tour, Montana Youth Range Camp, and Winter Grazing Seminar.
A loan program was started in 1979 for the purpose of improving rangelands in Montana. To date, 272 applications have been received for loans totaling $5,525,564; 18 loans totaling $313,353 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.
Rangeland Resources Program Coordinator
Stacey Barta, 406-444-6619
July 31 - Aug 4, 2016 Highwood Mountains sponsored by Cascade CD
September 7-8, 2016
January 17 & 18, 2017 sponsored by the Valley County Conservation District
- Range Leader of the Year Award
Producer Jim Stone - Ovando, Montana
Agency Krist Walstad/NRCS - Joliet, Montana
- Loan Program
- Education Projects
The Rangeland Resources Program coordinated with the Montana Department of Agriculture to create these education projects. Each project contains a poster, visual aids and lesson plans written to Montana Office of Public Instruction standards. To request a copy of these projects please contact Lorri Brenneman 406-437-1906.