BLM looking for input on accelerating grazing permits (comment through 6 Mar)


Jan 11, 2018
From the BLM project scoping page:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is soliciting public comment for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act, prior to an amendment to the grazing regulation for public lands, 43 CFR Part 4100 – Grazing Administration Exclusive of Alaska. The BLM grazing regulations, governing approximately 155 million acres in the western United States, have been periodically modified, revised, and updated over time. The last comprehensive and implemented revisions to BLM grazing regulations occurred in 1995.

The current grazing regulations require revisions to update, modernize and streamline the grazing administration regulations, and provide greater flexibility for land and resource management. Through this rulemaking, the BLM seeks to improve existing land use planning and grazing permitting procedures while simultaneously promoting conservation on public lands.

The BLM is soliciting public comment from interested parties on the proposed revisions, providing an opportunity for BLM to hear from the public prior to any amendment to grazing regulations. At this time there is not a specific proposal. The BLM is seeking public input regarding specific aspect of the regulations that may be in need of revision.

Editorial from Grand Canyon Trust Director
BLM project link
Thank you for posting. As a NYC resident for almost 25 years, I am decidedly not an expert in Western land management. Last year an old friend gave me This Land by Chris Ketcham*. While Ketcham’s conclusions and policy proposals are extreme and unlikely to ever come to pass, I was amazed at how our public lands are defiled in the name of short-term extraction. Don’t anyone fool themselves. “Land Management” has nothing to do with conservation. And the benefit to the American public, who owns this land, is practically zero. Emerson, Muir and Marshall would be appalled. Hunters and fishermen should take note that their places of wonder and sport are being trashed.

*This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism, and Corruption are Ruining the American West
Things have gotten into an ugly cycle with cheatgrass (my rangeland ecology professor used to call it "the scourge of the west"), where it has outperformed native perennial grasses in particular in disturbed (e.g. grazed) areas and grazing proponents recommend short-term grazing as a control mechanism. The problem is that grazing has negative impact on cryptobiotic soil, watersheds, and riparian ecosystems. There are often no fences to delineate wilderness boundaries from rangeland, so I've seen protected canyons in Grand Gulch covered with cow crap.