|WASHINGTON (March 26, 2021) — This week, the Public Lands Council (PLC) convened a virtual legislative conference. Hosted virtually for the first time this year, the annual event gave attendees an opportunity to hear directly from Members of Congress, policy experts, scientists, and other industry professionals, and discuss solution-oriented partnerships.
“Each year, the PLC Legislative Conference provides an opportunity for fruitful dialogue between policymakers, industry leaders, and public lands ranchers – and this year was no exception. Despite the virtual format, attendees were highly engaged throughout the two and a half days,” said PLC President Niels Hansen. “We heard from experts on issues like multiple use, conservation, biodiversity and wildfire management, all of which are vital to public lands ranchers and Western communities. Most importantly, we were able to speak directly with Members of Congress and agency officials as we work to develop PLC policy, advocate for the needs of ranchers, and build relationships in Washington for years to come. I thank everyone for their participation.”
Over the week, conference participants heard from Senator Steve Daines (MT), Representative Dan Newhouse (WA-4), Senator John Hoeven (ND), Representative Cliff Bentz (OR-2), Representative Jay Obernolte (CA-8), and Representative Blake Moore (UT-1) about strategies for building relationships and developing successful policy in the landscape of the 117th Congress and President Biden’s administration. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet with officials from federal agencies and participate in several panel discussions focused on grazing’s role in carbon storage, protecting biodiversity, ensuring strong multiple use, and more.
“Our legislative conference this week opened the door for diverse partnerships and advanced policy discussions for years to come,” said PLC Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover. “I am encouraged by the high level of engagement we saw from permittees and stakeholders alike. We had more than 200 attendees throughout the week from two countries, including staff from more than 20 Congressional offices and several non-governmental partner groups. The diversity in our attendance reflects the diversity in the issues we work to address at PLC. Together with these partners, we have been able to develop a robust dialogue that will benefit Western lands, waters, wildlife, and communities. We thank everyone who contributed to the success of this week’s sessions, and we look forward to using this as a jumping-off point for further conversation and advocacy.”
PLC is the only national organization solely dedicated to representing the interests of cattle and sheep ranchers who hold federal grazing permits. Public lands ranchers form the backbone of many rural communities and local economies and are leading the way in responsible and innovative stewardship of the environment across the West. Click here for more information on PLC’s work on key issues.