BLM issues land payments to Montana

By Star Staff

Today, the Bureau of Land Management announced the distribution of more than $326,000 to 10 counties in Montana and three in New Mexico. These payments were made possible through the Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937, which allowed the federal government to purchase damaged rangelands in the aftermath of a series of agricultural sector crises in the 1920s.

The BLM manages these national grasslands lands as part of its multiple-use mission and pays counties 25 percent of the net receipts derived from those lands.

The payments to 10 counties in Montana total more than $314,000 while three New Mexico counties will be paid more than $11,000, according to a news release from the BLM. The payments made in 2018 are from receipts collected by the BLM in 2017.

“The Bureau of Land Management values the partnerships created with county officials through this program as they are vital to managing sustainable, working public lands,” said Brian Steed, BLM’s deputy director for Programs and Policy. “We look forward to working with county officials to ensure that this program continues to support those communities within Montana and New Mexico.”

Payments made through the authority of the Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act are essential to these counties as they provide for public services, including road maintenance and schools.

In Montana, local and area counties receiving payments and the amounts are Custer County, $6,799.07, Fallon County, $107,277.58 and Prairie County, $41,720.96.

The Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937 was created in response to a series of agricultural sector crises of the 1920s, including drought, insufficient rainfall, falling prices, insect plagues, isolation and poverty.