Grazing Improvement Act Moves Out of Committee
June 8, 2012
This week, the House Natural Resources Committee voted 27 to 15 to refer the Grazing Improvement Act (H.R. 4234) to the full House for consideration.
Earlier in the week, a letter penned by the Public Lands Council and co-signed by the American Sheep Industry Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, Association of National Grasslands, National Association of Conservation Districts, National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Society for Range Management was sent to all the members of the House Natural Resource Committee urging support of the grazing language.
The primary components of the bill would codify the grazing rider language allowing permits to be renewed under existing terms and conditions, extend grazing permits from 10 years to 20 years, allow the use of categorical exclusions and exempt trailing and crossing authorizations from the National Environmental Policy Act.
In all, H.R. 4234 provides efficiencies that would allow federal land management personnel to spend much-needed time on the ground, working with ranchers to improve the land and resources, rather than managing paperwork and litigation.
An amendment was offered by the ranking member of the full committee, Rep. Ed Markey (Mass.), to include the $1 animal unit per month administrative fee that was included in the president's budget earlier this year. The amendment was rejected by a bipartisan majority on a recorded vote of 24 to 18.