- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

RICHFIELD, Utah (AP) - Utah ranchers and farm bureau officials say the federal government’s heavy hand on public land policies is hurting the ranching business in the West.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/21dTMLF ) that Utah Farm Bureau Federation CEO Randy Parker says public lands livestock ranchers face a number of uncertainties, largely because of a fickle administration of federal land policies.

Parker spoke to about 300 ranchers gathered at a grazing conference in Richfield on Thursday. He says there are now about 8,000 livestock operations, down about 60 percent from 1950.

Top officials from the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service were supposed to speak at the event, but they were pulled at the last minute at the request of the conference organizers.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, https://www.sltrib.com

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