The 34th Annual Montana Range Days (MRD) will be held again this year in Miles City, June 14-16. Headquarters will be the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds and workshops, contests, and some tours will be held on Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory land.
About 300 participants attend every year and the organizers have planned events for all ages. Youngsters, ages 4 to 14, will be divided into groups with their own instructors who will work with them Tuesday and Wednesday. High school students and adults will rotate among six workshop stations Tuesday and enjoy contest stations on Wednesday
Three tours have also been planned as alternatives to the regular MRD schedule. “The Rangeland Ecosystem” will be featured during the Monday afternoon tour. On Tuesday morning, buses will leave for a tour along the Tongue River, with stops at the Pumpkin Creek Ranch, managed by the BLM, and at the T&Y Irrigation Diversion Dam. Topics on Tuesday’s tour will include riparian management, weedy shrub management, irrigation water quality, wildlife, birds, and raptors.
On Wednesday, a tour will go to the Mathews Recreation Area along the Yellowstone River, where management issues of that river will be covered, as well as an adjacent Pheasants Forever upland habitat planting. A tour of the Miles City Fish Hatchery is also scheduled for Wednesday.
More highlights at MRD 2010 will include the Illustrated Talks Contest, for students 4 to 18 on Monday; a lamb barbecue in the field on Tuesday; and a special wildlife presentation and a beef banquet Wednesday evening, followed by a dance. Throughout MRD, student plant collections and exhibits will be displayed, as well as exhibits from organizations, businesses, and colleges.
Participants an bring their campers or pitch their tents at the Miles City Fairgrounds and “relax Montana-style for three days,” or they can stay in a local hotel.
For more information and a full schedule of events, go to www.montanarangedays.org. Preregistration is due June 1, although later registrations will be accepted. Check with your local Conservation District for scholarships information to attend MRD.
Posted by Kaci Switzer