July Rangeland Resources Newsletter 2022

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page. | Bookmark and Share

Rangeland Resources Program

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Rangeland Resources Program (RRP) promotes and advocates for healthy, sustainable rangelands that supports people, wildlife, recreation, clean water, and the natural scenic beauty of Montana.

Terry Haughian Ranch


Registration is now open for the 2022 Montana Range Tour.  MRT will be touring Sieben Live Stock and  featuring Alejandro Carrillo, a rancher from the Chihuahua area of Mexico.  If you want a sneak peak of Alejandro click here.

2022 Montana Range Tour Poster

Ron Devlin RRC

Meet the Montana Rangeland Resources Committee!

Ron Devlin- Rangeland Resources Committee

4th generation rancher, currently operating family ranch with my brother Todd, after Gerry and Isabelle,(parents), retired to Miles City.

Our Ranch is 35 miles NW of Terry Mt. We are mostly cow/calf operation. We sell our Steer Calves off the cows in Oct, Keep all of the heifer Calves, then  sort off our replacement heifers and sell the rest as weaned, sometime in Dec. We have been a closed heard since the late 70’s. We purchase our bulls from Gary Jones in Canada. The bulls are a composite of mostly angus, with a small amount of Maine Anjou. We also do a small amount of small grain crops, almost entirely for hay.

I attended High School at Sacred Heart in Miles City, attended MSU, but did not get a degree. I majored in Range Science.

Served as director of Montana Woolgrowers, past chairman of Mt Public Lands Council, and currently vice chair of Prairie Co Grazing District

Elected to Montana House of Representatives in 2000, served two terms, lost primary election in 2004

Began as Contract Lobbyist in Jan 2005,  main client is Northwestern Energy, but have also represented American Financial Services, Superior Livestock, Sun Mountain Lumber, and Southern Cross Development. I am currently under contract with Northwestern Energy.

Jodee Clark and Lambs

Working Land Internship Report

By: Jo Clark

Hi there y'all! I am beginning my second week of being a ranch hand intern at my third ranch location for this summer. This has been a summer jam packed with many "first time doing.." to include: branding, vaccinating, ear tagging, pushing calves, testing bulls, herding, docking, castrating, fencing, operating skid steers and tractors, learning to rope and so much more. I have worked in weather conditions from snow that came at you sideways, water puddles ankle high in muck boots, and 93 degree without a cloud in sight. Good ole Montana summer weather.

Throughout this internship while learning to work in all weather, I've learned and discussed regenerative agricultural practices, wildlife management, ranch economics, soil erosion, plant and weed identification, water resources (or lack thereof), and about how you’re supposed to manage all of that while continuing to be involved in your community boards, your family’s lives, and improving your practices to benefit your income and livelihood of the ranch you run.

As my summer progresses, I just can’t help but recognize that… Yes, these are ranchers and many of which who have been living their lives this way for generations. But, also that this lifestyle is in need of aspiring ranchers into this industry like myself and the other three interns. In two years I graduate from Montana State University with a degree in Ecology and a minor in rangeland and I am certain I will continue to utilize these experiences throughout my college career and coursework and hope to continue to work with these families and the people I’ve met along the way too. This internship continues to absolutely captivate my interest in this way of life and I’ve asked so many questions that I’m surprised someone hasn’t looked at me and said, “Jo you’ve reached your quota for the day”. Thank you ranch hosts, DNRC, and all of the counterparts of this wonderful program.

I leave Winifred, Montana this upcoming Friday to travel to Brusett, Montana. Being the "new kid on the block" is something I am accustomed to at this point in my summer of a Midwestern gal who had not a lick of understanding of what ranching was like to travelling all over the state of Montana chasing this way of life and my cowgirl dreams of becoming a Montana land steward down the road. On to the next one!

Let's Talk about Soil Health

For more information about soil health, check out the NRCS Soil Health Video Series!

NRCS Soil Health Videos Series

Farm Rescue

Farm Rescue’s mission is to help farmers and ranchers who have experienced a major illness, injury or natural disaster.  Farm Rescue provides necessary equipment, and volunteer workforce for the following assistance programs:

  • Planting, Haying or Harvest Assistance
  • Livestock Feeding Assistance

With the recent flooding events happening in Montana, the Farm Rescue may be a great asset for farmers and ranchers affected.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please more information!

Montana Range Days Hall of Fame 2022


Jon Siddoway, MRD Board of Directors

The Montana Range Days Hall of Fame inductee for 2022 is Noel Keogh, a rancher from the Nye, Montana area who gave more than 2 decades of his time to Montana Range Days (MRD) – first as a member of a local range committee in Columbus that had range days for 2 consecutive years, beginning in 1997 and then served for 21 years on the MRD State Board of Directors.  The award was presented at the MRD event in Shelby, Montana during the banquet on the evening of June 21.  He became familiar to many instructors, teachers, young students and local range days committee members over this time.  He was involved doing many duties at each range days event, including site selection for the workshop and contest sites, making sure that each workshop station had the materials that were needed, instructing station leaders and students about workshop and contest rotations, making sure workshop instructors had completed answer sheets for the contest and any other duties that needed immediate attention.

   Not only the number of activities he was involved in during a given MRD event, but his genial attitude is what I remember most as an instructor during this time – he always wanted to make sure that the sites selected for the workshop and the contest met the needs of the instructors, without exception he would be the first person to arrive at the workshop session in the morning to make sure things were in order.  I know many years (if not all the years he was on the board of directors), he would come the weekend prior to the start of Range Days to begin the work of installing signs for the event location as well as the workshop/contest site, setting up locations for the workshop and contest sites, a plant ID site and setting up the tents needed for the younger students and the lunch site.  And he always had a smile for everyone, and although he appeared pretty laid back, he was always in MRD mode, thinking ahead, making sure everyone stayed on track to meet the goal of a successful year.  Whenever I saw Noel at the beginning of a given Range Days event, I knew everything would fall into place for a successful Range Days.

   I also want to mention what Noel has done in his community, for Stillwater County and the state of Montana over the years:

  • Nye Volunteer Fire Department - 1977 to Present
  • Stillwater County Weed Board – 1981 to 2015
  • Absarokee High School Board – four terms
  • Stillwater Protective Association 1977 to Present
  • Northern Plains Resource Council Board of Directors - one term, helped negotiate the “Good Neighbor Agreement” with the Stillwater Mining Company
  • Beartooth Stock Association – 3 terms as Director, Past President and Vice President, also chairman of “Corralling Change” committee
  • Rangeland Resource Executive Committee Range Leader of the Year Award – 2007. Appointed to serve on the RREC board by Governor Schwitzer
  • Stillwater Valley Watershed Council – initial board member, 2006 to present
  • Nye Community Foundation
  • Nye Community Church
  • He and his wife Penny raised two wonderful girls – Cassie and Kaitlin. Kaitlin is currently on the State Board of Directors for Montana Range Days.  Both daughters competed successfully at MRD over the years in a variety of age groups.
  • Noel has also been a hunting guide for the last 39 years and has led pack trips into the Montana wilderness near his ranch.

   Noel is always trying to improve rangeland health and productivity on his ranch for the benefit of the ranch, the rangeland resource and the wildlife.

   Noel is so deserving of this award for his commitment and the hard work he has put into so many successful Montana Range Days events!

Beef Magazine: Senate Advances Cattle Market Reform Bills

In a business meeting, the Senate Agriculture Committee advanced out of committee and prepared for floor action two cattle market reform bills, S. 4030, the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2022, and S.3870, the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022.

As outlined by Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman, R-Ark., in his opening remarks, he questioned whether the proposals before the committee were solutions to the problems that farmers face today in remaining economically viable or if the “solutions” will bring “unintended consequences.”

Read the full article, here.


Western Governor's Association

2022 Western Governors' Meeting

Register for the 2022 WGA Annual Meeting!

Join Governor Gianforte at Western Governors' Association's 2022 Annual Meeting in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on July 26-28.

The Governors will be joined by the Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Denis McDonough, who will provide keynote addresses. Additional speakers will be announced as they're confirmed. The three-day event will also convene regional experts to discuss wildfire, cybersecurity, supply chain issues, and the housing crisis. 

Check out the full agenda and register here!


Western Governors Submit Testimony on FY 2023 Appropriations Bills

The Western Governors’ Association is submitting testimony on behalf of the Western Governors to House and Senate leadership on FY 2023 appropriations and activities. The testimony, signed by WGA Executive Director Jim Ogsbury, provides the policy perspective of governors on a wide variety of issues, such as land management, water, invasive species and the state-federal relationship.

View all the official testimony letters.

MSU Extension

MSU Extension Plant ID

Weed and Plant ID

MSU Extension released a series of videos covering how to identify annual invasive grasses, and other plants in the field. 

Check the videos out!

Montana Stock Growers Association

Mannix Family Awarded 2022 ESA

Mannix Brother Ranch Awarded 2022 Environmental Stewardship Award

The Mannix Brothers Ranch was named the 2022 Environmental Stewardship Award (ESAP) winners on June 2, at the Montana Stockgrowers Association MidYear Meeting in Sidney, Montana. Each year, the ESAP award recognizes a Montana ranch that exemplifies environmental stewardship and demonstrates a commitment toward improved sustainability within the beef industry.

Congratulations to the Mannix Brothers Ranch!

Read the full Article, here!

Montana Watershed Coordination Council

Life in the Land Documentary

Film and Podcast Series Illuminates Life in the Land

Filmmaker Lara Tomov's Life in the Land documentary film and podcast series features many of our local watershed partners across the state. It includes the perspectives of community leaders, ranchers, conservationists, and others from the Blackfeet Nation (Amskapi Piikani)Central Montana PlainsBig Hole Valley, and the Seeley-Swan Region. the series shares the stories of those who interact with the complexities of Montana’s lands, waters, and communities and highlights the value of collaborative, locally-led initiatives.

Rancher Stewardship Alliance

RSA Banking on Your Business


State of Montana Newsroom

Gov. Gianforte Requests Individual Assistance for Montanans from FEMA

Governor Greg Gianforte announced on 6/23/22 the state of Montana has requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) activate the Individual Assistance program under the presidential major disaster declaration due to the devastating impacts the recent flooding has had on Montanans’ private property and livelihoods.

The governor’s request demonstrates the need for direct federal assistance to impacted homeowners and communities in Park, Carbon, and Stillwater counties. This includes initial damage assessments to primary residences and structures, as well as the severe impact on the region’s outdoor and tourism industries that employ many Montanans in the area.

On June 14, Gov. Gianforte formally declared a statewide disaster due to flooding after verbally authorizing the declaration Monday, June 13.

On June 16, President Biden approved the state’s request for a presidential major disaster declaration, which provided access to the Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant programs for Park, Stillwater, and Carbon counties.

The governor’s request to activate the Individual Assistance program can be found here.

Read the full Press Release, here!

Montana State Legislature Button

Study: Warmer winters benefit calves born in March

By: Jason Mohr

In spite of recent rains, about half of Montana is experiencing severe drought—meagre soil moisture, low water levels in ponds and streams, and wilting fields. Climate experts have said the state has been experiencing long-term drought and temperature conditions perhaps not seen in thousands of years. This includes warmer winters in many cases.

But these warmer winters may be of benefit to Montana’s ranchers–and specifically to their animals. According to a recent report from the Agricultural Research Service’s Livestock and Range Research Laboratory in Miles City, Mont., three factors are at play:

Read the full article, here!

FWP Outside in us all

FWP Seeks Public Comment for Aug. 25 Commission Meeting

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on several proposals slated to go to the Fish and Wildlife Commission in August. Under the new commission process, FWP is taking public comment on these proposals now and will present the collected comments and proposals to the commission for their review and decisions on Aug. 25.  A few of the proposals include:

  • Approval of Request to Translocate Sage-Grouse to Alberta, Canada, in 2023

  • Programmatic Approval of Long-term Leases of Priority Habitat

  • Amendments to ARM 12.9.1403 Grizzly Bear Demographic Objective for the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem

  • Future Fisheries Improvement Projects, Summer 2022 funding cycle
  • Big Snowy Mountains WMA Fee Title Acquisition, Region 5
  • Pheasant releases for recruiting and retaining hunters

The commission will make a final decision on these proposals at its Aug. 25 meeting.

To comment and for more information on the full list of proposals, go online to FWP News Releases

FWP Seeks Public Input on Local Elk Management Issues

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will be hosting a series of public meetings this summer and fall to gather ideas about local elk management issues and population objectives. Meeting places, times and details are posted on the FWP website.

FWP began developing a revised statewide Elk Management Plan in 2020. The first step in the process was to convene a citizen’s group to develop guiding principles for revising the plan. The next step is to gather input on current elk population objectives and other local challenges that could be addressed in the revised Elk Management Plan.  

A public comment period will be open from June 20 to Oct. 15. Beginning June 20, comments can be submitted online or emailed to FWPWLD@mt.gov.  

Input gathered during the local process will be used with information obtained at the statewide scale to develop a draft Elk Management Plan.

Dept. of Agriculture Reminds Producers to Sign Up to be Counted in Ag Census

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reminding agricultural producers to sign up for the 2022 Census of Agriculture before June 30th. Taken only once every five years by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census provides a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them.

The Census of Agriculture covers land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and more. Census data includes all operations of all sizes – big and small, rural and urban – raising or selling $1,000 or more of agricultural products.

Read the full article, here. 

United States Senate Committee Appropriations

House Committee on Appropriations Releases Fiscal Year 2023 Draft Bills


Art of the Range

AoR 78: One Study to Rule Them All - 3M Soil Health Research with Jeff Goodwin & Derek Scasta

How do we build soil health? What is soil health? Is careful grazing helpful or hurtful? Can anything be done to meaningfully influence soil health? And how would we know? What can be measured that indicates progress? These are the questions Derek Scasta and Jeff Goodwin and their team intend to begin to answer through a recently funded national-scale project called Metrics, Management, and Monitoring: An Investigation of Pasture and Rangeland Soil Health and Its Drivers. 

Listen here!


MSU Extension:

Updated MontGuides

University of Montana:

Rangeland Analysis Platform

Reversing Tree Encroachment Increases Usable Space for Sage-Grouse during the Breeding Season

USDA-Agricultural Research Service

Scientific Discoveries 2022

Rangeland Resources & Systems Research, Fort Collins, CO:

Livestock and Range Research Laboratory, Miles City, MT:

Pest Management Research, Sidney, MT:

US Forest Service Research & Development: 

Research topic: Fire

Research topic: Water, Air, & Soil


Range Improvement Loan Program

Montana Hay & Pasture Hotline

USDA Water and Climate Outlook-Montana

USDA Montana Ag Stats

Grazing Your Way to Healthy Pastures

Montana Wildflower App

Montana Grass ID App

Montana Noxious Weed Information

Grassfed Exchange



NRCS Events. Calendar of conservation workshops and training

July 2022:

August 2022:


Stacey Barta, State Coordinator for Rangelands

220 W. Lamme, Suite 1A

Bozeman, MT 59715

(406) 594-8481


Emily Moran, Administrative Assistant for Rangelands

PO Box 201601

Helena, MT 59601

(406) 444-2613


Rangeland Resources Committee:

Diane Ahlgren, Chair

John Hollenback, Vice Chair

Sigurd Jensen

Jim Anderson

Leah Lewis

Ron Devlin