The National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA) is scheduled for a Senate vote this week and contains language that will permanently affect our public lands grazing and resource management in the West.
In yet another stealth move, ‘riders’ have been slipped into the Defense Authorization Bill which passed the U.S. House last week and is expected to be scheduled for a Senate vote in a few days.
Although several proposals in the bill are environmentally sound, as a whole the bill contains too many provisions that compromise the integrity of the protection and conservation of our public land resources and sacred sites.
Language contained in Section 3023 of the “Natural Resources General Provisions” would modify grazing management on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands by extending the term of grazing permits and leases from ten to twenty years; exempting many grazing allotments from environmental review; and providing livestock grazing permittees a special appeal process to grazing decisions yet deny the public the same process to challenge decisions that may harm the environment, wildlife and wild horses.
Congressman Raul Labrador and Senator John Barasso slipped language from the Grazing “Improvement” Act (GIA) into this defense bill which lays the foundation for more control of public land resources by government agencies and special interests – while hijacking the process for American taxpayers to weigh in and hold agencies accountable for negative impact to our wilderness, wildlife and natural resources.
A coalition of groups have written a letter opposing the public lands’ provisions and the inclusion of Title XXX, from the National Resource Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. Read it here
If you have contacts in the Senate please make a call.
Please use your voice and urge your Senators to remove the public lands provisions from the defense bill.
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Photo Credit: Elissa Kline Photography