Public Lands Council a Voice for Ranchers in the West

Public Lands Council a Voice for Ranchers in the West

Russell Nemetz
Russell Nemetz
Hundreds of cattle and sheep leaders from across the West gathered in Park City, Utah today to kick off the Public Lands Council (PLC) 50th Annual Meeting. The meeting, which will run through Saturday, provides a platform for members to set priorities for the upcoming year and hear updates from prominent policy leaders, elected officials, and national and state affiliates.

But 2018 provides an additional exciting draw – an opportunity to celebrate the organization's 50th anniversary.

"The Public Lands Council's Annual Meeting is the preeminent western public lands gathering in the nation. It provides a needed venue for setting industry priorities for the coming year," Ethan Lane, Executive Director of the Public Lands Council said. "While our focus is always on the grassroots policy process that is the backbone of our organization, the meeting has built in time to reflect on the rich history of public lands ranching and enjoy beautiful Park City."

The Wednesday evening welcome barbeque kicked off the event on a historical note, highlighting many of the organization's milestones over the past five decades.

"We have numerous PLC past presidents and leaders in attendance this year, along with a number of first-time attendees. Bringing these individuals together is to reflect on the organization is inspiring - It demonstrates the dedication of past generations of ranchers that advocated for our industry and illustrates the bright future ahead of us," Dave Eliason, Utah rancher and President of the PLC.

The agenda for Thursday and Friday features several high-profile speakers, including: Aurelia Skipwith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Department of the Interior; Brian Steed, Deputy Director of Policy and Programs, Bureau of Land Management; Vicki Christiansen, Interim Chief, U.S. Forest Service; Brad Little, Lt. Governor, State of Idaho. Friday will also feature the President's Banquet, which will be held at the Red Pine Lodge at the Grand Summit Resort. The meeting will wrap up Saturday with a range tour of two grazing allotments operated by Rowdy Fitzgerald and John Blassard.

"I appreciate the hundreds of ranchers who have taken time away from their operations to celebrate the Public Lands Council and ensure industry success for the long term," Eliason said.

The annual meeting is open to all western ranchers who hold grazing permits and stakeholders of the public lands ranching industry. The PLC Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration agenda, online registration, and other details are available online.

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