Montana Range Days, the largest rangeland educational event in the region, will be held in Miles City, June 15-17. More than 300 youth and adults are expected to join rangeland experts for three days to discuss rangeland management and the ecology of Montana’s most abundant natural resource.
Montana Range Days provides hands-on workshops on plant anatomy, plant identification, range site evaluation, monitoring, stocking rate calculation and range management planning. A series of well-supervised activities are offered to teach 4-to-8-year-old children about soils, water, plants and the animals that live on rangelands. Following the workshops, competitions are open to youth and adults in four age classes beginning with 9-year-olds. In addition to prizes for the competitions, three $1,000 scholarships are offered for students planning to attend any Montana college to earn a degree in rangeland-related fields. The Office of Public Instruction is also offering continuing education credits for all kindergarten through 12th grade teachers attending.
Tours will be offered for adults each day of the event. The first tour will be to the Pine Hills east of Miles City, to discuss general rangeland ecology and the less obvious factors that affect range management. Participants will tour the facilities at the Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory and visit research sites with scientists examining fire, drought, range animal nutrition, and invasive weeds. The final tour discusses sage grouse habitat with experts on the birds’ food sources, mating grounds and nesting requirements.
Montana Range Days will begin 1:00 p.m., June 15, at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds with a guided practice at the range study site and the Pine Hills tour. Camping space, restrooms and showers will be available at the fairgrounds. Registration is open at a discounted rate until June 1. For more information, contact Jan Pratt at (406) 853-3388 or visit the website www.cartercd.org.