The Montana Rangelands Partnership is a collaborative public-private partnership comprised of local, state, and national organizations. MRP was created to empower ranchers by providing on-the-ground technical assistance and educational resources including workshops, time efficient monitoring methods, and certified grazing plans.

Landowners have the opportunity to work alongside our field technicians and become involved in all aspects of the land management process, from evaluation to grazing management to monitoring.

The Partnership aims to recognize the good stewardship already occurring on the landscape and provide ranchers with the tools and resources to pass on their best practices to future generations.

Rangeland News
2017 Montana Youth Range Camp

2017 Montana Youth Range Camp was co–hosted by the Cascade and Upper Musselshell Conservation Districts. Camp was held at the McFarland White Ranch near Two Dot from July 10-14. It was a spectacular setting for the 5 day event. Located at the base of the Crazy Mountains on the far north end, the views were awesome. The ranch provided a diverse ecosystem, from cottonwood galleries to foothills to forest. 21 campers shared 2 barn lofts for sleeping quarters, ate under a cook tent, went for hoot owl hikes at night, and got an up close and personal tour of the Gordon Butte Hydro Wind Project. Campers received hands on classes in hydrology, soils, rangelands, weeds, and wildlife.

The camp instructors are specialists from the NRCS, DNRC and other natural resource professions. These instructors are the heart of camp, and without their employers’ support and their personal dedication, camp would not happen. They make time in their busy summer schedules to stay on site with campers and provide a fun and friendly outdoor learning environment. The hosting Conservation Districts are the organizers and the backbone for camp. They take care of all arrangements including facilities, fun activities, food, and all other details that make camp run like a well-oiled machine.

At the beginning of camp, the kids are presented with a resource problem by the hosting ranch. At the end of the week, the campers present solutions to the hosting ranch for how to address the problem. Awards are given for top presentation as well as top placers in the range ID and knowledge contest, which campers are tested on every morning. The top scorers receive the all-coveted belt buckles.

In the end, Montana Youth Range Camp is about keeping the next generation engaged in making Montana’s largest natural resource healthy and productive for future generations. Next year’s Montana youth Range Camp will be at the Eastern Montana Bible Camp, co-hosted by Richland and Dawson Conservation Districts, on July 8-11. Check out this web site next April for more information.

Montana’s disastrous wildfire season has devastated our citizens and the landscape where we live and work. Many people have lost their homes and livelihoods. On our rangelands, ranchers have lost hundreds of thousands of acres of pastureland, leaving them with little to no forage. These landowners are devastated by the destructive effects that fire has had on the land they work so hard to steward. In the coming months and years, ranchers will be making tough decisions on how to rebuild their operations, communities, and landscape. Thankfully, rural Montana has been blessed with donations pouring in from all over the country. One of the greatest gestures has been the innumerable loads of donated hay to provide livestock with forage and give the land some rest while it recovers from this year’s burn. Unfortunately, if we’re not careful, donated hay can introduce new weed species, especially on bare, burned soil. Of course, using this hay will be necessary for many producers to keep their animals and landscape healthy, but there are precautions we should take to minimize the risk of weed invasion. The above document outlines some best management practices for utilizing donated hay without letting weeds gain a foothold.