Public Lands Ranchers See Benefits from Cromnibus Passage

Public Lands Ranchers See Benefits from Cromnibus Passage

Public Lands Council's Marci Schlup says grazing, sage grouse provisions are included in recently passed legislation

Last week's passage of funding legislation and the Defense Authorization Act in Congress included provisions that the Public Lands Council's Marci Schlup says will benefit public lands ranchers.

According to Schlup, the Defense Authorization Bill, which included provisions of the Grazing Improvement Act, allows for the codification of the grazing rider that has been in place for more than 10 years.

Under the rider, permits can be renewed under the same terms and conditions while a review is being conducted by the federal land management agencies.

Public Lands Council's Marci Schlup says grazing, sage grouse provisions are included in recently passed legislation. (USDA photo)

Additionally the bill provides statutory authority specific to grazing for categorically excluding grazing decisions from the National Environmental Policy Act analysis, where the practices are in effect and the land is meeting range health standards.

Related: Fiscal 2015 Omnibus Passes House with Ag Riders

"We're also very excited that not included in this package is the retirement of grazing in some states," Schlup said, which was included in the Senate markup earlier.

The Senate also passed omnibus funding legislation, which Schlup noted provides benefits to farmers and ranchers, too.

She explained that listing of the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act is not allowed through fiscal year 2015, per the funding bill.

"This gives the state and local [sage grouse conservation] programs that have been put in place time to actually work," she said. $15 million was also allocated for further sage grouse conservation efforts.

Source: NCBA

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