Bureau of Land Management Contact: Tom Gorey
For release: Friday, April 24, 2009 (202-452-5137)
BLM Announces Clarification on Application of Livestock Grazing Regulations
The Bureau of Land Management is announcing that, for purposes of legal clarification, the agency is applying livestock grazing regulations that were in effect prior to July 12, 2006, when the BLM published a set of grazing regulations that were intended to revise the existing rangeland regulations.
Implementation of the 2006 regulations was subsequently enjoined by a ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho in Western Watersheds Project v. Kraayenbrink. In a statement posted today on its Internet Home Page (www.blm.gov), the BLM makes clear that the pre-July 12, 2006, livestock grazing regulations, with a limited exception, have been and will continue to be enforced on BLM-managed lands, and that any future changes to these regulations would occur through a new rulemaking effort.
Publication of today’s announcement will not have any practical effect on the Bureau’s current management of livestock grazing on BLM-managed public lands, as none of the July 12, 2006, regulatory amendments were implemented because of the U.S. District Court’s orders enjoining the amendments and the subsequent decision by the U.S. Department of Justice not to appeal those orders. The BLM has been applying, and will continue to apply, the pre-July 12, 2006, regulations except for provisions that sought to allow “conservation use” of grazing permits. These provisions were struck down in 1999 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in the Public Lands Council v. Babbitt lawsuit.
The BLM manages more land – 256 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, and cultural resources on the public lands.