- Associated Press - Sunday, October 23, 2016

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Montana and the Bureau of Land Management are working to resolve a 127-year-old debt.

The Billings Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/2eBFDGk) about 10,000 acres would be transferred from the bureau to the state and grazing fees for ranchers could increase by 500 percent.

A Montana Stockgrowers Association official said lessees will not lose permits, but will pay more for longer state leases.

The bureau owes Montana $4.1 million for land covered in the Enabling Act of 1889 that was already slated for national parks or reservations.

State officials gave the bureau its prioritized list of land requests to resolve what remains of the debt by a target date in July 2017.

Ranchers who could be impacted have been notified.

People can provide input during hearings in November.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, https://www.billingsgazette.com


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