Defending Public-Lands Grazing
November 30, 2012

This week on the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's Beltway Beef audio report, host Chase Adams interviewed Colorado rancher Brice Lee, the recently elected president of the Public Lands Council (PLC). Lee said that PLC formed in 1968 to help address public-lands issues, and now represents about 22,000 ranchers who graze livestock on National Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands. 
According to Lee, PLC's current priorities include: 
- Prevention of the addition of the sage grouse to the Endangered Species List. Lee says that with good management, sage grouse numbers are improving in many areas and several states offer hunting seasons. 
- Reform the Equal Access to Justice Act. This act makes a provision that allows the courts and its agencies to award costs and fees to parties who succeed in litigation against the federal government. Many believe it encourages environmental groups and other activists to file suits over land-use issues. 
- Pass the Grazing Improvement Act, which would double from 10 to 20 years the period of a term for grazing permits and leases for domestic livestock grazing on public lands or lands within national forests in 16 western states. 
- Reform the Endangered Species Act and federal estate taxes. 
Reprinted in part from Drovers