Category: Plains Speaking

When we have healthy soil, all Montanans benefit economically

July 12, 2017
Thank you to everyone who took time to be a part of the Soil Crawl outside of Big Timber in June. And thank you to all of you who wish you could have come… we felt your support! We appreciated the Indreland and B Bar ranches, who opened up their space for the benefit of the community, and who hosted Nicole Masters once again, and welcomed Tony Hartshorn and his Bozeman “Ninja” students. It was great...
Categories: Agriculture, Agriculture, Clean Water, Food, News, Northern Plains Resource Council, Plains Speaking


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Montana ranchers say mandatory ID for feeder calves unnecessary

June 27, 2017
The message was very clear – no one at the USDA's Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) Meeting in Billings on May 24 thought that adding feeder calves to the identification requirements was a good idea. This message was delivered by producers in the audience and echoed by panel presenters who were chosen from many different segments of the cattle industry. Joe Goggins, CEO of...
Categories: Agriculture, Agriculture, News, Plains Speaking


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Still waiting for DEQ rules at Montana’s radioactive dump

June 8, 2017
I’m a rancher near Glendive, and I live just downstream from Montana’s first radioactive oil waste facility. What’s radioactive oil waste? During the drilling process, radioactive material buried within the earth is brought to the surface. Oil and gas producers end up not only with oil and natural gas, but also with radioactive produced water, sludge, filter socks, and even radioactive pipes and processing equipment. It’s not the product they bargained for. It’s also a particularly...
Categories: Agriculture, Agriculture, Clean Water, News, Northern Plains Resource Council, Oil & Gas, Oil and gas, Plains Speaking


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Take advice this weekend from the best stewards of the land

June 6, 2017
Ranchers are traditionally some of the best stewards of the land. On average, they do more for water, grasslands, and wildlife conservation than any other property owners in the West. A professor of mine recently reiterated this fact during a lecture, and some of my classmates were vocally skeptical of such a claim. It’s understandable, I guess. For a number of decades, the dominant narrative in some environmental circles was that only certain types of human use of the land...
Categories: Agriculture, Agriculture, Food, News, Northern Plains Resource Council, Plains Speaking


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BLM methane rule protects human and livestock health

May 8, 2017
Note: The U.S. Senate failed 49-51 on May 10 to rescind the BLM methane waste rule using the Congressional Review Act. This guest editorial appeared in the May 8, 2017, Billings Gazette. The U.S. Senate has been considering rolling back the Bureau of Land Management’s Methane and Waste Prevention Rule — key protections that limit the waste of minerals — through the use of the Congressional Review Act. Now, senators have only a few more days before the time limit...
Categories: Agriculture, Agriculture, Clean Energy, Congress, News, Oil & Gas, Oil and gas, Plains Speaking


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Senate Bill 235 bad for farmers and ranchers in coal country

April 14, 2017
The legislature and Gov. Bullock need to reject Senate Bill 235. It’s bad public policy and encourages economic speculation at the expense of Montana landowners. The bill could indefinitely extend leases for taxpayer-owned minerals to coal companies who haven’t broken ground for a decade. If you aren’t mining, you shouldn’t be tying up resources on speculation. I ranch and irrigate on the Tongue River south of Miles City, and for many years, my ranch was under threat of condemnation by...
Categories: Agriculture, Coal, Plains Speaking


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Rural Montana needs PACE

April 7, 2017
  In Montana’s small towns and rural areas, there are many old buildings and homes in need of upkeep and renovation. If you’ve ever driven down Main Street, no matter what the town, you know what I mean. My husband, son, and I operate a ranch outside Bridger, Montana, as well as a motel in town. In this small town of less than 1,000 people, many of the buildings are close to 100 years old. Our motel was built in the...
Categories: Agriculture, Clean Energy, Plains Speaking


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Don’t cede control over Montana seed, oppose SB 155

March 20, 2017
In direct contradiction to Montana values, the state Senate passed a bill last week that will completely eliminate local control over one of our most valuable natural resources: seed. Senate Bill 155, sponsored by Sen. Mike Lang, R-Malta, takes away the rights of farming communities with sweeping language that preempts local decision-making power. It’s an unnecessary corporate solution in search of a problem, and should be soundly rejected by the Legislature and Gov. Steve Bullock. Proponents say that SB 155 is...
Categories: Agriculture, Agriculture, Food, Landowner Rights, News, Plains Speaking


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On International Women’s Day, we reflect on female leadership

March 8, 2017
  Kate French Chief among the many stubborn, false ideas about the rural West is that men have always been the heroes: the cowboys, the ranchers, the warriors. But, in truth, this has never been the case because women were always there. Women were not only working the land, but also fighting for it. And in Northern Plains’ history, they weren’t simply shoulder to shoulder with the guys; they were often out front first. Helen Waller said it all with these words when...
Categories: Agriculture, Coal, Northern Plains Resource Council, Plains Speaking, Tongue River Railroad, Uncategorized


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Congressional Review Act – the most dangerous law you’ve never heard of

March 2, 2017
  Working on my ranch means I spend every day enjoying what we’re blessed with as Montanans- our clean air and water, our working rural landscapes, and our unique quality of life. Montanans enjoy an unrivaled connection to the land; a connection that our rural communities depend on. I’m grateful to live in a place where often the only sounds I hear are songbirds and where being a neighbor still means something. I know that we have it lucky. But...
Categories: Agriculture, Clean Water, Coal, Northern Plains Resource Council, Oil & Gas, Oil and gas, Plains Speaking


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NORTHERN PLAINS RESOURCE COUNCIL
220 South 27th Street, Suite A
Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154
info@northernplains.org