Montana: Livestock grazing rates could be on the way up | TSLN.com
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Montana: Livestock grazing rates could be on the way up

The Montana Land Board will consider increasing fees charged ranchers who graze cattle on state land – maybe even doubling them. A study commissioned by the board found the state is charging far less for grazing fees than private landowners. The board is charged with managing state land and raising money for the school trust.

The board gave the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation the go-ahead to begin a multi-month review of the issue, which the agency said has not been done in about 10 years. The agency will come back with a formal proposal late in the year after holding public hearings.

The rates would affect about 4 million acres of state land – and nearly 5,000 ranchers who lease the land from the state. Agency director Mary Sexton said that every $1 increase in the average $6.50 price per animal unit currently charged would raise an extra $1 million a year for the state. A proposal from the study said the state could double its current rate and still only be charging about 70 percent of the market rate. Such an increase would raise about $6 million for the state, the agency said.



The Montana Stockgrowers Association opposes the increase.

The Montana Land Board will consider increasing fees charged ranchers who graze cattle on state land – maybe even doubling them. A study commissioned by the board found the state is charging far less for grazing fees than private landowners. The board is charged with managing state land and raising money for the school trust.



The board gave the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation the go-ahead to begin a multi-month review of the issue, which the agency said has not been done in about 10 years. The agency will come back with a formal proposal late in the year after holding public hearings.

The rates would affect about 4 million acres of state land – and nearly 5,000 ranchers who lease the land from the state. Agency director Mary Sexton said that every $1 increase in the average $6.50 price per animal unit currently charged would raise an extra $1 million a year for the state. A proposal from the study said the state could double its current rate and still only be charging about 70 percent of the market rate. Such an increase would raise about $6 million for the state, the agency said.

The Montana Stockgrowers Association opposes the increase.


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