Forestry Service Listens To Grassland Concerns - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Forestry Service Listens To Grassland Concerns

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Controlled burns in some North Dakota grasslands can be more harmful than helpful. And that's one of the issues Grazing Association members brought up to the U.S. Forest Service Chief today at a roundtable discussion in Dickinson.

The Strom Center in Dickinson was packed with ranchers wanting to speak with U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell about issues facing North Dakota grasslands.

North Dakota's entire congressional delegation was in attendance, with Senator John Hoeven monitoring the discussion.

Each Grazing Association had a chance to share their concerns with Forestry Service officials.

Those problems ranged from banning prescribed fires because of last year's wildfire, to details about the North Billings Management Plan.

That plan would dictate grazing in grasslands.

All the roundtable participants say they hope some actual solutions will come out of the discussion.

"I don't want to just be here to spend some time and take you guys away from some productive time you could have out on the fields or on the ranch today. But hopefully we can put some things in place that will help us to be able to move forward," says Tidwell.

Tidwell also says the Forestry Department has significantly less staff than in previous years, and that makes solving all these problems in a short amount of time more difficult.

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