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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

What’s Next?

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Just as I was getting used to warmer weather and smaller snowbanks, a furious storm from the northeast blasted us. We got some 27 inches one day, on top of nearly eight inches the day before. 

Now, it looks like a bomb went off with all of the piled snow. 

After this past winter, I’m wondering, what’s next?

Earlier last week, Congress announced news of new public lands regulations. It caught public lands ranchers off guard since the White House and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) never openly asked for any input from stakeholder involvement, which has also created a lot of hard feelings out in the hills. 

These two entities still haven’t released any details on how the new regulations will work, so it’s too early to understand the effect it will have on public lands ranchers and others.

BLM proposed this new regulation, which, pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) as amended, would advance the BLM’s mission to manage public lands for multiple use. 

To support these activities, the proposed rule would apply land health standards to all BLM managed public lands and clarify “conservation” is a “use” within FLPMA’s multiple-use framework. This would place conservation as a use along with recreation, minerals and grazing.

Using the word conservation is just a ploy to manage for climate change, as this is the White House’s main goal. Everyone likes the word conservation, and now on public lands, it will not be a practice but a use under regulation.

I believe in climate change, and that it has been around since the “Seventh Day.” However, what I think most people disagree on is what causes climate change and the things we can do to change it. 

If individuals want to see true conservation in action, they should visit a farm or ranch. I think BLM is now using a smoke screen for management. So, what’s next?

One large issue is the passing of the farm bill, which occurs every five years through Congress. It is a very important issue for all of those involved in agriculture, even though nearly 80 percent of farm bill dollars go toward food stamps, making it very political. 

To some, food stamps are a real need, but corruption in the program needs to be cleaned up. For all Americans, the farm bill is a direct line to food security, plain and simple.

This time Congress shouldn’t need to completely rewrite the farm bill, because most of the 2018 bill was good. 

Some individuals in Congress want to focus solely on climate and conservation in all of the farm bill initiatives, while others note, “If we focus solely on climate and conservation in all of our farm bill initiatives, we could miss something in literature that could make certain practices mandatory instead of voluntary. This is the concern we’re hearing from farmers and ranchers now.”

I’ve always believed if something is done voluntarily, the result will most always turn out better than if it’s mandatory. But, it sounds like that’s Washington, D.C.’s way these days.

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