GREAT FALLS, Mont. (Sept. 28, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt addressed many of his greatest partners in land management and conservation – federal lands ranchers – as he headlined the Public Lands Council Annual Banquet in Great Falls, Mont. on Friday night. The banquet is part of the PLC’s Annual Meeting that was held in Great Falls, serving as an opportunity for the cattle and sheep producers who hold federal grazing permits to join and recognize individuals across their industry.
Secretary Bernhardt addressed economic impacts to ranchers and the importance of grazing to land management in his remarks to the grassroots organization.
“I’m honored to be in Montana to discuss how the Department of the Interior can be a good neighbor to the ranching community. President Trump knows the importance and value of our conservation stewardship efforts — and most importantly the impact your industry has to the American economy,” said Secretary Bernhardt in his speech.
Secretary Bernhardt’s comments were welcomed by cattle and sheep producers from across the West.
“This week is critical each year for our grassroots organization,” said Ethan Lane, executive director of the PLC. “Federal lands ranchers need a forum to come together to discuss the unique challenges we face and determine policy to guide the organization. This year we saw incredible engagement from our members, and it was an honor to host a number of high-ranking guests from our state and federal government like Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.”
Bernhardt serves as the 53rd Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 11, 2019, and he took office on the same day.
As Secretary of the Interior, Bernhardt leads an agency with more than 70,000 employees who oversee multiple use across 20 percent of the nation’s lands and work closely with public lands ranchers to protect and enhance natural resources across the West.