by Anne Hedges
Residents just outside of Great Falls, Montana, believed they were living in an area zoned for agriculture. They thought that meant farms, the usual livestock, agricultural equipment on the dirt roads, and wide-open spaces. They received a rude awakening in October 2017 when they learned that a huge slaughterhouse and rendering plant was proposed in their area. They were shocked to learn that the Cascade County Commission had changed the zoning regulations earlier in the year to allow this type of industrial operation in their agriculturally zoned area. It remains unclear who made the request to the County for the radical change in its zoning rules, as there were no supporters or opponents during the public comment period for the change. However, one thing is certain; people in the area are now very rightfully concerned.