Ranchers Urge Congress to Oppose Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act

WASHINGTON (January 31, 2019) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and Public Lands Council (PLC) announced opposition to H.R. 5737, the Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act, introduced yesterday by Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA).  The bill would require federal land management agencies to permanently end livestock grazing on any allotments where the current permittee has accepted a payout in exchange for relinquishment of their term grazing permit.

“Grazing is an essential and irreplaceable tool for federal land managers,” said fifth-generation Oregon rancher and PLC President Bob Skinner.  “Depriving them of this tool—the oldest of the multiple-uses—in order to placate the unfounded demands of radical environmentalists would be detrimental to the overall health of these landscapes and is entirely inconsistent with the original intent of both the Taylor Grazing Act and the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act.”

“This legislation proves exactly why NCBA and PLC’s ‘Value of Grazing’ media campaignwas so important,” added Tennessee cattle producer and NCBA President Jennifer Houston.  “From fire mitigation to carbon sequestration, livestock grazing is necessary for healthy grasslands and soil.”

The bill currently has 10 Democratic cosponsors.