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for people who care about the West

Subsidized ranchers


The article about the American Prairie Reserve and Phillips County ranchers and farmers ignores the role that federal farm subsidies play in helping to keep the ranchers on the land (“Montana refuge divides tribes and ranchers,” HCN, 5/29/17). According to the Environmental Working Group, from 1995 to 2014 U.S. taxpayers generously paid out $219 million to ranchers and farmers in Phillips County. Would these ranchers and farmers be on the land without these payments? If not, their farms and ranches are not sustainable.

Tom Darnell
Lewistown, Montana