On Friday, March 30, 2012 a federal district judge in San Fransisco ruled that the Forest Service violated the law when it issued grazing permits on five allotments on Mendocino and Klamath National Forests without performing the requisite environmental review.
The Forest Service had claimed that its issuance of these grazing permits was "categorically excluded" from review under the nation's premier environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), because of a legislative rider that was tagged onto the 2006 appropriations bill. The rider had allowed the Forest Service to categorically exclude grazing permits from NEPA if the permit continued current grazing management, if monitoring indicated that current grazing management was meeting management plan objectives, and if there were no "extraordinary circumstances."
United States District Judge Phyllis Hamilton found that the Mendocino Categorical Exclusion did not comply with the rider because the monitoring was inadequate, and that the Klamath Categorical Exclusion did not comply with the rider's "extraordinary circumstances" prong because the Forest had failed to consider impacts to designated wilderness.
Our thanks go to Warren Braunig and Lauren Rule of Advocates for the West who represented Western Watersheds Project and a coalition of other organizations in this case !
Dr. Michael Connor
The public land ranching industry is up to it again. They’re looking to further obstruct the proper administration of grazing on federal public lands by eroding public participation and further tying down the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service’s ability to enforce environmental laws and act in the public interest for clean water, wildlife, ecosystem integrity, for all of those things you care about and enjoy of public lands in the west. The bill: The “Grazing Improvement Act”.
Read Western Watersheds Project's Statement opposing S. 1129 to the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests Committee on Energy and Natural Resources U.S. Senate
Please take the time to tell your representatives in Congress to OPPOSE the Grazing Entrenchment Act