The National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA) set for a Senate vote this week contains language that will forever change the West. Renewal of many grazing permits would be exempted from public oversight and environmental review by being tucked in with a sprawling public lands package,undermining the already inadequate public lands grazing management performed by federal agencies
It cannot be overstated: the new laws would mean that the BLM and Forest Service must continue status quo grazing regardless of the environmental laws being violated until the agencies have sufficient funding (or inclination) to do otherwise.
If this seems like a bad dream, it is. Congressman Raul Labrador and Senator John Barasso snuck the language of the Grazing "Improvement" Act (GIA) into this must-pass defense bill. The GIA would severely limit the ability of groups like WWP to hold the agencies accountable for impacts to clean water, imperiled wildlife and plant species, soils, and sensitive cultural sites.
A coalition of conservation groups is opposing the inclusion of the public lands package in the NDAA because of industry giveaways and problematic anti-conservation language.