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Crown land leasees organize to fight rule changes


A large group of angry ranchers gathered in Ste. Rose last week to prepare to fight against what they feel is an attack on their way of life.
At the centre of the controversy is changes to the way the province deals with leases on Crown land announced following the provincial election.
Brent Benson, a Winnipegosis area rancher and spokesperson for the Manitoba Crown Land Leaseholders Association, said of particular concern is provisions in the new legislation which removes the ability for ranchers to renew leases for a new term. Instead, at the end of a current term, all leases will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Auctions are open to individuals, corporations, colonies or Aboriginal bands anywhere in Western Canada with no concern for the longevity of the ranches affected, he said.
There is no requirement leasees live in the community and they would be able to ship in large numbers of animals from out of province with no concern for the longevity of nearby ranches, the environmental impact overgrazing could have on the natural ecosystems or damage to neighbouring properties, Benson said.

Get the complete story in the October 8 edition of your Dauphin Herald.