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BLM Holds Public Comment For APR Proposed Bison Grazing

The Bureau of Land Management held an informational and public comment meeting April 12 about American Prairie Reserve’s proposal to allow bison-grazing on public lands.


APR is seeking 10-year grazing permits for 15 allotments of public land located between Glasgow and Havre in northeast Montana. As per BLM’s grazing regulations, the BLM initiated an environmental review of the proposal in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. BLM also asked for comment from the public to gauge public reaction to such a proposal.


The meeting, held at the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow, provided some information about the impacts of the proposal. A few BLM employees were on hand to answer questions and public comments were submitted anonymously via forms put into a box.


APR’s proposed permit would allow the following:

•Change in livestock type from cattle to bison.

•Change in the season of use to year-round grazing.

•In general, removal of interior allotment fencing to create one pasture once the type of livestock has been changed to bison, while retaining livestock water sources.

•Electrification of perimeter allotment fencing.

•Use of best available science to determine bison source; follow the same guidelines as cattle ranchers for disease control, as required by the Montana Department of Livestock.


APR has already acquired base properties that hold grazing privileges to certain allotments on BLM-managed land. APR deeded land makes up approximately 86,426 acres. The proposal also includes 260,893 acres of BLM land and 29,309 acres of Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation controlled land.


If the proposal is approved, then fencing for the project area will actually decrease. Currently, there are about 717.2 miles of fence line in the project area. APR’s proposed action decreases the fence mileage to 453.9 miles. APR would construct an additional 35.2 miles, reconstruct 250.9 miles, electrify 49 miles, retain 118.8 miles and remove 298.5 miles of fence in the project area.


The project is still a long way off if approval is granted. Presently, BLM is on step two, public scoping, of their eight- to 12-month environmental assessment.


After scoping, BLM will formulate possible alternatives and analyze their potential effects. Once the environmental assessment has been finished, the public will be notified of the results of the assessment and then another round of public comments will take place.


Public comment is open until May 9. Comments can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mail comments to APR Scoping Comments, BLM Malta Field Office, 47285 Highway 2, Malta, MT 59538.

The Glasgow public scoping meeting was the last public scoping meeting held by BLM during this part of the environmental assessment.