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Russell Nemetz The Public Lands Council Turns 50
by Russell Nemetz, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: August 10, 2018

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The Public Lands Council (PLC), America’s only organization dedicated solely to representing the 22,000 western ranchers who hold federal grazing permits, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Since incorporation in 1968, the national organization has served as a vital voice for the West on Capitol Hill and around the country.

“Very few groups have the respect and attention of national leaders like the Public Lands Council,” said Dave Eliason, current President of the PLC and fourth-generation Utah public lands rancher. “Over the years we have maintained a critical presence for the industry on issues ranging from grazing rights and wildlife management, to the repeal of policies like BLM Planning 2.0 and reform of the National Environmental Policy Act.”

PLC's invaluable voice has set the tone and policy direction on important milestones for the West, and according to PLC Executive Director Ethan Lane, there are more to come.

"We have a tremendous opportunity right now to make progress on issues we've faced for decades. Capitalizing on the current political climate is only possible because of our long history and depth of knowledge on these issues - not to mention our strong connections throughout the federal government," Lane said.

According to Eliason, the success of these efforts cannot be achieved without the help of PLC’s volunteer leaders.

“Volunteering to serve in this capacity is honorable, and we are so thankful to have engagement from producers who come from diverse operations and who desire to continue the legacy of advocating for America’s public lands ranching industry," Eliason said.

This legacy is rumored to have begun at the iconic Old Ebbit Grill in Washington, DC, where public lands ranching leaders first discussed the need for a centralized advocate for western cattle and sheep producers. According to past-president and 50th Anniversary Committee Chairman Jim Magagna, much has changed since these early discussions, but the overall mission of the PLC has remained constant.

“The Public Lands Council has always educated Congress about the numerous benefits and services ranchers provide on the range and protected the ability for ranchers to operate on federal land. But in addition to our history of success in advocacy over the years, the 50th Anniversary is an opportunity to ensure the next generation has the ability to operate on public lands.”

This theme referenced by Magagna will be the focus of the 2018 PLC Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration scheduled for September 27-29 in Park City, Utah. The commemorative meeting will shape future policy for the PLC, and will also feature educational sessions, issue discussions, historical retrospectives, and a 50th Anniversary Banquet.

“We are celebrating more than just the history of the Public Lands Council – we are celebrating the 22,000 public lands ranchers in the West who care for America’s natural resources and provide food and fiber to the world,” Magagna said. "I hope everyone will bring their families and join us in Park City this September."

Interested attendees can learn more about the PLC Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration by visiting www.PublicLandsCouncil.org.

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