Public Lands Council Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration Kicks Off in Park City, UT


Hundreds of cattle and sheep leaders from across the West gathered in Park City, Utah today to kick off the Public Lands Council (PLC) 50th Annual Meeting. The meeting, which will run through Saturday, provides a platform for members to set priorities for the upcoming year and hear updates from prominent policy leaders, elected officials, and national and state affiliates.

But 2018 provides an additional exciting draw – an opportunity to celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary.

“The Public Lands Council’s Annual Meeting is the preeminent western public lands gathering in the nation. It provides a needed venue for setting industry priorities for the coming year,” Ethan Lane, Executive Director of the Public Lands Council said. “While our focus is always on the grassroots policy process that is the backbone of our organization, the meeting has built in time to reflect on the rich history of public lands ranching and enjoy beautiful Park City.”

The Wednesday evening welcome barbeque kicked off the event on a historical note, highlighting many of the organization’s milestones over the past five decades.

“We have numerous PLC past presidents and leaders in attendance this year, along with a number of first-time attendees. Bringing these individuals together is to reflect on the organization is inspiring – It demonstrates the dedication of past generations of ranchers that advocated for our industry and illustrates the bright future ahead of us,“ Dave Eliason, Utah rancher and President of the PLC.

The agenda for Thursday and Friday features several high-profile speakers, including: Aurelia Skipwith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Department of the Interior; Brian Steed, Deputy Director of Policy and Programs, Bureau of Land Management; Vicki Christiansen, Interim Chief, U.S. Forest Service; Brad Little, Lt. Governor, State of Idaho. Friday will also feature the President’s Banquet, which will be held at the Red Pine Lodge at the Grand Summit Resort. The meeting will wrap up Saturday with a range tour of two grazing allotments operated by Rowdy Fitzgerald and John Blassard.

“I appreciate the hundreds of ranchers who have taken time away from their operations to celebrate the Public Lands Council and ensure industry success for the long term,” Eliason said.

The annual meeting is open to all western ranchers who hold grazing permits and stakeholders of the public lands ranching industry. The PLC Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration agenda, online registration, and other details are available online.

Western Ranchers Recognized by BLM During PLC Annual Meeting

PARK CITY, UTAH (September 27, 2018) – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 2018 Rangeland and Sagebrush Steppe Stewardship Awards were presented Thursday during the Public Lands Council (PLC) 50th Annual Meeting in Park City, Utah. The awards recognize the effort of individuals and organizations who are dedicated to improving the health and productivity of public rangelands.

Recipients of the 2018 Rangeland Stewardship Award included Larry and Pennie Hooper, who operate on the Red Mountain lease in New Mexico, and Richard Ward, who operates on the Jim Sage allotment in Idaho. These recipients were nominated by their local field offices for their unique approach to protecting, restoring, and enhancing rangeland.

“Everyone who spends time on public lands reaps the benefits of ranchers’ environmental stewardship,” said Dave Eliason, President of the PLC. “It is important to recognize the work of cattle and sheep producers and understand their role in ensuring the health of our rangeland. There is great potential when we work with agency partners to achieve shared rangeland and management goals. I want to thank the Bureau of Land Management for recognizing these individuals.”

The awards represent one way the BLM recognizes the contributions of public lands ranchers. Other initiatives, like outcome-based grazing projects, also allow the BLM to work with public lands ranchers to explore a variety of innovative approaches to land management. Projects such as these provide managers and grazing permit holders greater flexibility in the management of permitted livestock while emphasizing ecological, economic and social outcomes in cooperative management of public lands.

“The contributions of public lands ranchers matter, and it’s wonderful that rangeland improvements and the benefits of livestock grazing on public land is being recognized by our friends in government,” Eliason said.


PLC represents public lands ranchers in Washington, D.C. Since 1968, PLC has worked with Congress and the federal land management agencies to maintain a stable business environment in which livestock producers can conserve the West and feed the nation and world. Visit to learn more.

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