The Public Lands Council (PLC) recently released a new video in their “Range Reels” series, spotlighting the work of Montana rancher Chisholm Christensen and his family. The video debuted during PLC’s Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.
Christensen’s family has run cattle on both public and private lands for five generations, and they are all too familiar with the unintended consequences that stem from policy decisions made a thousand miles away. Since the passage of well-intended regulations like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or Endangered Species Act (ESA), the regulatory burden on public lands ranchers has grown far beyond the scope and usefulness of these laws. The message from Chisholm’s experience, and that of thousands of other permittees across the West, is clear: good management of our public lands requires Congress and federal agencies to listen to the people who depend on working lands for their living. Imposing solutions in search of a problem ultimately hurts ranchers, the landscape, and all the other users who depend on healthy public lands.
“Ranching on public lands in the Western United States is one of the most unique and widely misunderstood jobs that exists. Ranchers like Chisholm battle the elements, apex predators, and the rugged terrain every day to raise their herds and provide for their families,” said PLC President Mark Roeber. “Thank you to Chisholm for giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his daily life and shedding light on the fact that even with all the hardships ranchers face on working lands, it is regulatory burdens created in Washington that can give you the most trouble. This video captures exactly what PLC does every day in Washington, D.C. – show lawmakers the realities of raising livestock on federal lands and the hurdles both natural and bureaucratic that ranchers must navigate.”
“My family and I have been raising livestock on private and public lands, and responsibly managing our natural resources, for more than a century. If that’s not a sustainable business, I don’t know what is,” said Montana rancher Chisholm Christensen. “I appreciate the opportunity to share our story and give decision makers in Washington, D.C. a glimpse into what our lives are like on the range. I know many Americans outside of the ranching industry share our passion for leaving these lands healthy, resilient, and productive for the next generation – many don’t understand how important ranchers are to achieving that goal. Projects like this with the Public Lands Council help us bridge the gap, educate, and advocate for our way of life.”
“It was an unforgettable filmmaking experience to collaborate with Chisholm and help tell an important piece about their family’s legacy in northern Montana. It was inspiring to see the value he and his family bring to not only the lands that they own but to the public lands they manage,” said videographer John Irwin. “The warmth of their spirits left an impression on me, as well as the bone-chilling cold I experienced while controlling the drone flights during the canyon cattle drive. It was a filming adventure like no other, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to capture such a unique and awe-inspiring story.”
Wonderful and so accurate. Proud of you Chris, Chisholm , and family.