Grazing Improvement Act Reintroduced to Bring Stability to Permit Process
Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming has introduced the Grazing Improvement Act of 2013. The legislation seeks to improve the livestock grazing permitting processes on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. The measure was debated by the Senate and House during the last session of Congress - and actually passed the House with bipartisan support as part of the Conservation and Economic Growth Act. Both the Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association strongly support the bill. According to PLC President Brice Lee - the uncertainty surrounding grazing permit renewals is threatening the ability of ranchers to stay in business. NCBA President J.D. Alexander says the bill simply makes sense - proposing to codify language that has been included in federal appropriations bills for over a decade. He says increasing the term of a grazing permit from 10 to 20 years - as the measure proposes - will decrease the interval at which grazing allotments come up for environmental analyses. Alexander says this will decrease the daunting backlog facing the agencies and make the processes more efficient. Lee and Alexander believe the Grazing Improvement Act is important to ranchers - whose operations are the backbone of many communities that provide jobs and economic stability in much of rural America.
Cosponsors of the legislation include Mike Crapo and Jim Risch of Idaho, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee of Utah and Dean Heller of Nevada.
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