Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Idaho Court Grazing Decision Adds To Economic Woes, Fails To See Whole Picture

In an ongoing effort to eliminate grazing and other uses of public lands, Western Watersheds Project (WWP) challenged 18 Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) prepared by 18 separate Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices in six different Western states. The BLM and stakeholders immediately filed a motion to dismiss parts of the complaint and asked that the case be handled separately in U.S. Courts in each of the affected states, rather than as one large lawsuit. In early May, Judge B. Lynn Winmill, Chief U.S. District Judge, ordered that the motion be granted in part and denied in part in a decision that ultimately unfairly favors the original complaint. “The judge looked at this as a decision simply about sage grouse and failed to see the whole picture, that this is a range resource and habitat issue,” said Dan Gralian, President of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association. “As ranchers, we work with agencies like the BLM to manage our public lands responsibly. Sweeping attacks and generalizations like this case misuse stakeholders’ time, take our agency folks away from their real jobs of managing the land and wastes taxpayers’ money.” “You simply can’t paint 25 million acres of the Western United States with the same broad brush as Judge Winmill has in this case,” said John O’Keeffe, Chair of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association Public Lands Committee. Making the BLM waste federal resources on paperwork, legal fees and defending their efforts to protect threatened species ultimately does not protect the environment, sage grouse or rangelands.”...cattlenetwork

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