Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Ranchers at center of standoff drop appeal over lost grazing allotments

Hammond Ranches has dropped a legal challenge against the federal government, at least for now, to compete for cattle grazing allotments in eastern Oregon it lost last year. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management can now choose whether the Hammond family or one of three neighboring ranches can use the 26,000-acre BLM allotments, the Capital Press reported. Hammond Ranches hopes that U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and the BLM will issue a permit to graze the four allotments as soon as possible, though it’s possible they may not be available for livestock this year, said Alan Schroeder, the company’s attorney. The agency will conduct an analysis of qualified candidates, but doesn’t have a specific timeframe for awarding the grazing permit, said Tara Thissell, BLM Burns District spokeswoman. In its application, Hammond Ranches warned that it would demand “immediate compensation” for its range improvements, water rights and intermingled private lands if BLM awards access to the allotments to another ranch...MORE

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