Grazing fees have been the object of benign neglect on the part of the State Land Board for ten years. It would seem appropriate for the Board to establish a policy which would ensure a regularly scheduled and consistently structured review of grazing lease rates on state land. This will ensure market relevance and accuracy on a sustainable basis.
I suggest the creation of an advisory group comprised of DNRC staff, faculty members from the MSU Agricultural Economics Department/Extension Service, a representative selected by the Montana Stock Growers' Association, one selected by Montana Farm Bureau and an at-large industry representative selected by the Governor.
There is much to be said for including industry stakeholders and Montana agricultural economists at the start of the review process rather than waiting to have them offer comment on a "finished product". The State Land Board owes it to all Montanans to assure a more systematic and inclusive approach to the management of this critically important public land use issue.