Earlier this year, the Helle and Rebish/Konen Livestock operations came under fire from the Gallatin Wildlife Association, an environmental/activist group located in Bozeman, Montana. The GWA filed a Preliminary Injunction to stop domestic sheep from grazing on two of the seven allotments in the Gravelly Mountains claiming their members would suffer immediate and irreparable harm. The allotments had been used by the Helle family for more than 60 years and historically for nearly 150 years where they, along with the Rebish/Konen family have grazed nearly 8,000 sheep each summer.
In a rare win for the good guys, the federal judge denied the injunction, and the sheep were allowed to head out to their traditional summer pasture. However, even though this was considered a win for the Helle family and those who graze the seven Forest Service allotments, it is far from over.
Now the Helle family.has started a fundraiser not only to help support the fight for their livelihood, but also the livelihood of future generations in agriculture. They are selling t-shirts that will be used to help pay legal fees incurred in the injunction lawsuit, as well has the Montana FFA. Any profits over $1000 will go towards a fund to provide financial help for other ranching families facing lawsuits brought forth by Gallatin Wildlife Association or other groups that threaten the livelihoods of agricultural communities.
Northern Ag's Lane Nordlund spoke with Sara Helle about the fundraiser and what she is hoping to accomplish.
CLICK HERE to read more about this fundraiser or to purchase a t-shirt