House Interior Approps Moves to Committee
June 22, 2012

This week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies marked up the Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations bill for the Interior Department, Environmental Protection Agency and related agencies. 
 
Some of the provisions in the legislation supported by the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) include:
 
an extension through FY13 of the bighorn sheep provision to block the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management from making decisions that negatively affect domestic sheep grazing due to management for bighorn sheep;
permanent extension of the grazing rider to allow for the renewal of permits in spite of the NEPA backlog;
the extension of grazing permits from 10 years to 20 years;
exempting trailing and crossing authorizations (permits) from NEPA through FY14 (this language fixes the previous attempt to exempt); and
language blocking CWA guidance or rulemaking pertaining to the definition of waters under the jurisdiction of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to use the rule and guidance already in place.
"The entire sheep industry applauds Chairman Simpson for language prohibiting federal land management agencies from reducing domestic sheep grazing because of conflicts with bighorn sheep," said Margaret Soulen Hinson (Idaho), ASI president. "This inclusion again offers the industry and researchers the time needed to finalize the implementation of promising vaccines to address disease issues, as well as strategies to implement best management practices to promote the coexistence of both species of sheep. The conflict promoted by legal organizations opposed to livestock grazing on federal lands jeopardizes nearly 25 percent of American lamb and wool production." 
 
The draft legislation reported by the subcommittee to the full committee on appropriations is available at http://plc.cylosoftdemo.com/CMDocs/PublicLandsCouncil/Appropriations/Draft%20Interior%20Appropriations%20Bill%20FY%202013.pdf.
 
The full House Committee on Appropriations is scheduled to mark-up the interior FY13 appropriations bill next Wednesday.