Public Lands Ranchers Gather in the Nation's Capital
Western cattle and sheep producers gathered in Washington, DC this week for the 2018 Public Lands Council (PLC) Legislative Conference. Conference attendees received updates on public lands ranching policy and provided insight and direction for current and future legislation impacting the industry.
"Congress and the Administration are debating issues that have serious impacts on public lands ranching," said Dave Eliason, Utah public lands rancher and President of the PLC. "Now is the time for our industry to speak up. This week provided a platform for public lands ranchers to engage with key policymakers in Washington to communicate the needs of our industry."
Conference attendees were briefed by lawmakers and agency personnel on a range of topics including the need for more reforms to the NEPA process, Land Use Plan Amendments for the Greater Sage Grouse, Endangered Species Act modernization, and other onerous environmental regulations. Speakers included: Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah-1), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee; Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.-At-Large); Aurelia Skipwith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks; Brian Steed, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Land Management; Mike Hannemann, Range Program Manager for the U.S. Forest Service; and Jeff Small, Executive Director of the Congressional Western Caucus.
"The important role that grazing plays in responsible land management was reiterated by many key leaders, and the benefits of livestock on federal lands was also highlighted. Our industry has challenges ahead, but it is uplifting to know we have leadership in Congress and throughout governmental agencies that see the value in public lands ranching," Eliason said.
Many attendees will spend the remainder of the week speaking with their congressional representatives about key issues directly impacting the ranching industry.
"I am extremely pleased to have my fellow public lands ranchers take time away from their operation to participate in experiences like these," Eliason. "Engagement from ranch industry leaders truly helps shape the future of public lands grazing. When it comes to communicating about the issues most important to the industry, no one does it better than public lands ranchers."
Public lands ranchers can learn more about the progress of these issues this September at PLC's 50th Annual Meeting in Park City, Utah. Interested attendees can visit www.publiclandscouncil.org to learn more.
That's your Land and Livestock Report-I'm Russell Nemetz.