In a letter to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, the Public Lands Council, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, American Sheep Industry Association, Association of National Grasslands and state affiliates expressed their concerns regarding the time-sensitive issue of crossing and trailing of livestock on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed lands.
The groups stressed their belief that the action of crossing and trailing livestock across federal lands, necessary in order to carry out the industry's regular business activities and remain in compliance with the terms and conditions of existing livestock grazing permits, should be treated by BLM as an administrative action. The active crossing and trailing of livestock has minimal impact on the range and should not be subject to National Environmental Policy Act analysis.
Conflicting demands placed on members is a concern. On the one hand, terms and conditions of grazing permits require that livestock be turned out and removed on specific dates to avoid noncompliance with the permits. At the same time, the BLM is proposing to perform in-depth environmental analysis that will likely delay or even deny a producers ability to trail livestock across BLM lands-thereby making compliance with permit terms nearly impossible.
Because permittees will soon be turning livestock out on their allotments for the season, an expeditious response to this matter was requested.