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USFS extends Dakota Prairie Grasslands Demonstration Project for 10 years

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Forest Forest Service has extended the Dakota Prairie Grasslands Demonstration Project for an additional 10 years and has agreed to a framework for improving the project, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., announced in a statement T...

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WASHINGTON - The U.S. Forest Forest Service has extended the Dakota Prairie Grasslands Demonstration Project for an additional 10 years and has agreed to a framework for improving the project, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., announced in a statement Tuesday.

Hoeven's office has been working with local grazing associations, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service's Dakota Prairie Grassland Supervisor Bill O'Donnell to reach an agreement to ensure grazers have flexibility and are treated fairly in using the grasslands.

Keith Winter, president of the McKenzie County Grazing Association, speaking on behalf of the grazing associations within the Dakota Prairie Grasslands, said he appreciated the efforts of the senator.

"We look forward to working with Sen. Hoeven, the Forest Service and the North Dakota Ag Department to make additional positive modifications and improvements to the Demonstration Project language in the weeks ahead," Winter said in a statement.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said North Dakota ranchers deserve to be heard "when it comes to managing the land they know best."

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"That's why I've been working since the day I entered the U.S. Senate with the Forest Service and grazing association leaders to make sure our ranchers have a strong voice when it comes to decisions about the grasslands they have grazed for generations," she said. "And it's why it's great news the Forest Service has agreed to extend the demonstration project, giving our ranchers the certainty and the seat at the table they need to continue their legacy and way of life."

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