Karen Budd-Falen is one of the most respected lawyers in the country when it comes to standing up for Western interests, especially farmers and ranchers.

This week, she's headlining the Montana Stockgrower's Association midyear meeting in Lewistown.

She recently returned to her law offices in Cheyenne, Wyoming after a two year stint serving as the Deputy Solicitor for Wildlife and Parks under the Trump Administration.

We caught up with her just before her trip to Montana, and just before our LIVE Montana Talks statewide radio show from the MSGA midyear meeting at the Yogo Inn. Budd-Falen aggressively weighed in on the meatpackers monopolistic practices, and she also weighed in against Biden's 30x30 environmental initiative.

Karen Budd-Falen on the meatpackers:

People I think are concerned with the packer situation. With JBS shutting down and the packer concentration, that's also a huge concern for the livestock industry. It looks like  packers are making money off of livestock hand over fist. But if you look at the prices of calves, and you look at cow calf operations, we're barely being able to hang on by our teeth. And so, the only one that's going to be able to really deal with packer concentration is Congress and I really wish Congress would have the will to break up the packers like it did with "Ma Bell" and the telephone and these other monopoly groups.

Karen Budd-Falen on Biden's 30x30:

Plan 30 by 30 was an executive order that he signed January 27 2021, which, in my opinion, is going to eliminate additional multiple use on public lands, as well as acquire more private land to be owned by the government. That taxes will never be paid to the tune of 440 million acres by 2030.

I also asked her if she thinks our side is "too nice" and doesn't push back hard enough. She talked about that, and more on 30x30. Here's the full audio:

 

By the way, while we were at the Montana Stockgrower's midyear meeting we also had a great conversation with Stacey Barta. She is the State Coordinator for the Rangeland Resources Program at the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. She also brought along one of the interns who is spending the summer working on different ranches as part of the "Montana Working Lands Internship Program." It's a very cool concept.

Here's the audio of our chat with the Montana DNRC's Stacey Barta about the Working Lands Internship Program on our Montana Talks podcast:

 

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