Congressmen Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, and 10 lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle took a firm stand on the side of America's federal lands ranchers by introducing the Grazing Improvement Act (H.R. 4234), which would increase efficiencies in the federal lands grazing permit process and create a more stable business environment for the ranchers who manage the land and its resources. The Public Lands Council, National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Idaho Cattle Association urged Congress to immediately consider H.R. 4234.
John Falen, PLC president and NCBA member
from Nevada, said for more than a decade federal lands ranchers have
relied on language being included into annual appropriations bills to
allow the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to renew
grazing permits on federal lands under current terms and conditions
until the renewal process is complete. Falen said the Grazing
Improvement Act codifies that language, extends the life of grazing
permits from 10 to 20 years and implements a more balanced appeal
"As a rancher who relies on federal
grazing permits for my operation, I speak with authority when I say the
uncertainty surrounding the current grazing permit renewal process has
forced me to spend more time trying to comply with rules and regulations
rather than improving my herd and managing the range. This commonsense
legislation will provide certainty to livestock producers, ensuring them
that bureaucrats are not going to pull the rug from under the grazing
permits they rely on to raise healthy animals," Falen said. "We look
forward to working with Congressman Labrador to build support for the
Grazing Improvement Act."
Richard Savage, ICA president and
cattleman from Hamer, Idaho, said H.R. 4234 would result in a more
efficient federal lands grazing permit process.
"At a time when our nation is in need
of greater government efficiencies and relief from duplicative,
burdensome regulations, this legislation comes at an opportune time.
H.R. 4234 takes important steps to improving the administration of
federal lands by taking management decisions out of the courtroom and
putting them back out on the ground where they belong," Savage said.
"Sound management of our rangelands has been hijacked by environmental
extremists who care little for the actual conservation of the land but
rather pursue an agenda of putting a halt to any sustainable use of our
natural resources. I applaud the efforts of Congressman Labrador to
restore some common sense to government."
H.R. 4234 is a companion to Senator John Barrasso's, R-Wyo., Grazing Improvement Act.