Thursday, October 08, 2015

WildEarth Guardians seek support for grazing buyout legislation

It’s long past time to give America’s endangered wolves more room to roam on our public lands and simultaneously give ranchers the ability to permanently retire their grazing permits.  We’ve got just the tool to help both wolves and ranchers: it’s called grazing permit retirement. But we need Congress to pass legislation to allow this to happen across the western landscape.  Join us in telling Congress to pass legislation that will allow us to work with more and more ranchers to retire livestock grazing from our most sensitive and valuable public lands in the west. Lets give them an exit strategy that will be fair and equitable to everyone.  On public land across the West, millions of livestock remove and trample vegetation, damage soil, spread invasive weeds, despoil water, deprive native wildlife of forage and shelter, accelerate desertification, and even contribute to global warming.  Raising cattle generates more global warming greenhouse gases, as measured in CO2 equivalent, than transportation. On federal public lands alone livestock account for annual emissions equivalent of 705,342 passenger vehicles. Now there is proposed legislation that would provide an equitable solution. The Rural Economic Vitalization Act (H.R. 3410) would begin to alleviate these problems by providing public lands ranchers the option to relinquish their grazing permits in exchange for market-based compensation paid by private release 

Keep in mind that similar legislation targeted to specific Wilderness areas and surrounding allotments, championed by Idaho Republican Mike Simpson in the House and agreed to by both Republican Idaho Senators, has passed Congress and been signed into law this year.  See this.

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