I was chatting with our friends Mark and Paul, they're known as the Breakfast Flakes, down the hall from me in our "Montana Talks" studio. Paul Mushaben made a great point: because of these Wilderness Study Area designations, Montana ranchers are having a tough time getting to their grazing land that was burned down in the recent wildfires. There ought to be some exemptions, due to the wildfire damage, for these ranchers to get in there and repair their fences.

It was a great point (and yet another reminder of why these WSAs are in need of reform). So I asked that very question of Montana Stockgrowers President Bryan Mussard, who mentioned that top officials, including the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was in Montana for the stockgrowers' mid-year meeting in Dillon:

We discussed those very things- what the conditions of the fences are, and weeds, and all the downfall, and just our overall fire management...we did get some movement yesterday. They do understand that there's a clot in the artery- very beneficial.

Mussard joined us on Friday's "Montana Talks" statewide radio show. He added that the stockgrowers have been working with the federal land management agencies for over a year on that very topic.

I also asked Mussard about trade with China, especially given the latest news about tariffs. Mussard says he is very confident with the Trump Administration on trade. He described the improved working relationship with the Trump Administration, compared to the Obama Administrationn as a night and day difference. "We went from sludge to oil," added Mussard.

As for trade and tariffs, Mussard mentioned his conversation Thursday with the President's Chief Ag Negotiator, Ambassador Gregg Doud:

He said it's gonna take some time, and we have more leverage than the media would let you know. The trade disparity is just amazing.

I'm pretty confident in this administration- I mean trade is his hallmark. He is not gonna lose or fail or make a poor decision on trade. And visiting with the ambassador, and visiting with his team- it's gonna take some time but I think in the long run we're gonna have a better 30 year outlook than this see saw thing we've been on the last several years.