BLM seeks comments
Published on Feb. 29, 2020
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is currently accepting scoping comments to guide preparation of amendments to their grazing regulations. Comments on the proposed regulation revisions may be submitted in writing until March 6.
It is important that public land grazing permittees submit individual comments. Members of the environmental community will likely submit thousands of comments contrary to their interests.
The Public Lands Council (PLC) and the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) recommend permittees touch on at least one of the following areas in the comments. Comments will be most effective if personal experiences in dealing with grazing permits is cited.
WSGA and PLC recommend discussing permit delays. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for grazing permits just takes too long. There are other administrative delays, too. If permittees have experienced delays in their permit approval and renewal, they should tell that story.
“Mention double standards for multiple uses,” says WSGA and PLC. “BLM is considering moving the land health standards to a different section of the regulations. If permittees have experienced being held to a higher or different standard than other land users, they should tell that story.”
“Mention preference,” they say. “Grazing preference parameters changed during the last round of grazing regulation changes nearly 15 years ago. If permittees have experienced reduction in animal unit months (AUM) as a result of inconsistent application of preference, they should tell that story.”
“There is the opportunity to increase the BLM’s flexibility in applying amended management practices, different grazing rotations, different on/off dates, rather than automatically decreasing the number of authorized AUMs on an allotment,” says WSGA and PLC. “If permittees have had their AUMs decreased based on factors that could have been addressed through different management practices, they should tell that story.”
“Section 15 lands should also be discussed,” says WSGA and PLC. “If permittees are a grazing user of these lands and they experienced long-time leases being converted to permits with the loss of flexibility provided by a lease, they should tell of those experiences and request a restoration of the lease.”
To facilitate submission of comments, WSGA and PLC urge permittees to go to the Public Lands Council website at publiclandscouncil.org/advocac.
E-mail comments to BLM_WO_grazing_email@blm.gov and written comments to Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Seth Flanigan, 3948 S. Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705.