During the Montana Farm Bureau Voting Delegate session November 10, members of the Cascade and Chouteau County Farm Bureau brought forth policy concerning their disapproval of a National Heritage Area around Great Falls without the input from impacted landowners.

The policy, adopted by all of the voting delegates representing 10 Farm Bureau districts, stated: “We stand in opposition of National Heritage Areas, such as the proposed Big Sky Country National Heritage Area, without prior approval of private land owners.”

Jess Bandel. president, Chouteau County Farm Bureau, noted, “Private property rights are essentially important to our members. National Heritage Areas are a slippery slope leading down the path to strip away our property rights. We are especially concerned that these blanket "takings" by Big Sky National Heritage Area, and other designations like it, would affect a farmers' or ranchers' ability to provide food for a growing population. I am pleased to be a part of the effort to stop heritage areas from assaulting our private property rights and being established in our farm fields and backyards.”