Friday, February 08, 2013

PLC, NCBA support reintroduction of Grazing Improvement Act

The Public Lands Council (PLC) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) strongly support the Grazing Improvement Act of 2013, introduced today in the U.S. Senate. Sen.John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), along with cosponsors Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), introduced the bill, which seeks to improve the livestock grazing permitting processes on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The bill was debated during the last session of Congress in both the Senate and House of Representatives; it passed the House with bipartisan support as part of the Conservation and Economic Growth Act (H.R. 2578). PLC President Brice Lee, a Colorado rancher, asserted that the uncertainty surrounding grazing permit renewals is threatening ranchers’ ability to stay in business. “Those of us who utilize grazing on public lands face grave threats to our way of life due to today’s cumbersome and inefficient permit renewal process. It puts us at constant risk of seeing suits filed by radical environmental activists who seek to eliminate grazing on federal lands,” Lee said. “This bill would end some of the instability in the permitting process that plagues the grazing industry in the West.” NCBA President J.D. Alexander said that the bill simply makes sense, as it proposes to codify language that has been included in federal appropriations bills for over a decade. That appropriations language, which has long enjoyed bipartisan support, allows the BLM and USFS to renew grazing permits under existing terms and conditions while the backlog of environmental analyses is being addressed. “Increasing the term of a grazing permit from 10 to 20 years, as is proposed in the bill, will decrease the interval at which grazing allotments come up for environmental analyses,” Alexander said. ”This will decrease the daunting backlog facing the agencies and will make these processes more efficient.”...more

No comments: