Ranchers Finally Win A Big One

The following was received from Ralph Hill.  Ralph received it from a friend and it essentially indicates that ranchers and farmers have our backs:  After reading the following message from D. Glenn and the press release following, please access the link to the pdf under the message and press release.

Whether you have any interest in ranching or any of the many issues that ranchers face, you at least should be aware that they are fighting for our heritage and this Nation’s future. Ground is being held despite the onslaught of various radical environmental groups who oppose the rights of others, which they inturn take for granted, at taxpayer expense. 

Please, once again be reminded of a quote by Maurice Strong, Secretary General, U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (1992):
“current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class, involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning and suburban housing are not sustainable”
The Global Biodiversity Assessment Document (1142 pages and probably not on your bookshelf), tells us that “large hooved animals” (meaning of course the hooves of domestic animals) and grazing are not sustainable.
Press release for court decision, followed by the pdf for the decision:
Contacts: Chase Adams                         Cristina Llorens
202-879-9117                       202-879-9138
cadams@beef.org                 cllorens@beef.org
Victory for Public Land Ranchers in Arizona Lawsuit
PLC, Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association Defeat Radical Environmental Group’s Claim
WASHINGTON (Dec. 18, 2012) – The Public Lands Council (PLC), Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association (ACGA) and several individual Arizona ranchers announced victory in a recent case where a radical anti-grazing environmental group challenged in court the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) decision to continue livestock grazing on eight Arizona grazing allotments. The challenge was originally filed with the Arizona U.S. District Court by Western Watersheds Project (WWP) in August 2011. Represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, PLC, ACGA and two ranchers filed as intervenors in support of USFS and asked the court to grant summary judgment on the eight decisions, which allowed grazing to continue under the “categorical exclusion” parameters of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake ruled in favor of USFS and the defendant intervenors, granting summary judgment on seven of the eight grazing allotments in question, including the Casner Park/Kelly Seep, Pine Creek, Seven C-Bar, Twin Tanks, Chino Valley, Cosnino and V-Bar allotments. On the eighth allotment, the Angell, he ruled that USFS’ documentation of the impacts of grazing was insufficient, and asked the parties to submit proposed forms of judgment by early January.
According to PLC Executive Director Dustin Van Liew, the judge’s ruling on the seven allotments is a major win for the livestock grazing industry, which depends on efficiencies granted under NEPA’s “categorical exclusion” provisions and subsequent appropriations language for timely reauthorization of grazing. In the absence of these provisions, excessive
regulatory red tape and unnecessary analysis would increase the opportunity for litigation by predatory special interest groups, with no added benefit to range health, he said.
“Under ‘categorical exclusion’ provisions and the protections offered through appropriations language, land management agencies are able to reauthorize grazing that is simply continuing under existing conditions, and rightfully so,” said Van Liew. “Continuing grazing on western lands that, in many cases, have been grazed for more than a century does not
constitute a ‘major federal action’ or fall under the agency’s ‘extraordinary-circumstances’ definition that would require full NEPA review.”
ACGA Executive Vice President Patrick Bray said the decision will benefit not just the ranchers in his state, but will potentially have positive west-wide implications.
“Federal land management agencies face a daunting backlog of regulatory paperwork under NEPA which, in the absence of the congressional language allowing for categorical exclusions, threatens ranchers’ grazing rights— which could ultimately kill their businesses,” Bray said. “With this and other similar challenges across the West, Western Watersheds Project makes a business out of adding burden to already-strained agency resources. Their taxpayer-funded strategy is focused on wiping out livestock grazing along with the families and communities that depend on it,” said Bray.
Van Liew said the livestock industry is encouraged by the fact that Judge Wake determined USFS’ use of categorical exclusions to be in keeping with Congress’ intent when it enacted NEPA and subsequent provisions in appropriations bills.
“The livestock industry is involved in similar challenges across the West and has seen several victories,” he said. “We’re encouraged by this ruling, as it reinforces the rights of ranching families in Arizona and the West.”
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