Take Action to Support Permit Retirement!

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August 14, 2015

Online Messenger #318

Urge your Congressional Representative in the House to co-sponsor the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA) (H.R. 3410). Urge your Senators to express support for REVA and to consider introducing companion legislation in the Senate.
Ranching on public lands directly displaces native wildlife while inflicting long-term damage to wildlife habitat, consequently being responsible for 22% of federally-listed (or proposed) threatened or endangered wildlife species.
Livestock grazing also contributes to the frequency and severity of fires in western forests and grasslands, costing the Forest Service more than $800 million annually for fuel reduction and other fire suppression-related programs.
In Fiscal Year 2014, the Bureau of Land Management’s “Rangeland Management” and the Forest Service’s “Range Grazing Management” spent $134.4 million on grazing management. In that same fiscal year, the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service report collecting only $17.2 million in grazing fees, resulting in a net loss to taxpayers of $117.2 million.
The Rural Economic Vitalization Act (H.R. 3410) would begin to alleviate these problems by providing ranching permit holders the option to relinquish their grazing permits in exchange for market-based compensation paid by private parties. The managing federal agency would then be directed to retire the associated grazing allotment from further grazing activity. Permit retirement would be capped at 100 permits per year.
Urge your representative in the House to co-sponsor the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (H.R. 3410)—legislation that would begin to restore the environmental health of our public lands currently used as cattle pasture, while also reducing the subsidies that taxpayers currently provide to public lands ranchers.
Urge your Senators to express support for REVA and to consider introducing a companion bill in the Senate.
To find and contact your House representative, go to http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
To be connected to your representative’s office in Washington D.C., call the U.S. House of Representatives at (202) 224-3121
To contact your representative through the quasi-automated POPVOX system, go to the POPVOX page for REVA:
To find and contact your Senators, go to
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state
Learn more about REVA on Facebook at
Sample Letter
Dear Representative [INSERT NAME],

As a concerned citizen, I am writing to urge you to co-sponsor the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA) (H.R. 3410)—legislation that would provide ranchers, conservationists, and the federal government with additional flexibility to reduce the adverse environmental impacts of ranching on Western federal lands at no cost to the government. In fact, implementation of the legislation would reduce ongoing governmental expenditures, particularly subsidization of the federal grazing program by taxpayers.

The federal grazing program is among the most environmentally destructive, fiscally wasteful, and economically inefficient uses of our public lands. In Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014) the Bureau of Land Management’s “Rangeland Management” and the Forest Service’s “Range Grazing Management” spent $134.4 million on grazing management. In that same fiscal year, the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service report collecting only $17.2 million in grazing fees, resulting in a net loss to taxpayers of $117.2 million. Further, the majority of Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service grazing fees are not directed to the U.S. Treasury but are diverted instead to the “Range Betterment Fund” to pay for fencing, water developments, and related infrastructure to support continued livestock grazing.
The Rural Economic Vitalization Act would provide ranching permit holders the option to relinquish their grazing permits in exchange for market-based compensation paid by private parties. The managing federal agency would then be directed to retire the associated grazing allotment from further grazing activity. Permit retirement would be capped at 100 permits per year.
REVA would save tax dollars by reducing the cost of federal public lands management, while attracting private investment to stimulate rural economies. As grazing pressure is reduced, public lands will naturally recover and provide new, sustainable economic opportunities for rural communities.
I hope to hear that you will co-sponsor this environmentally-beneficial, fiscally-responsible, and free enterprise-stimulating legislation.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS]

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