Wyoming Congresswoman and House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) issued the following statement Wednesday on the Increasing Access and Multiple Use Act, a bill that would provide certainty for permit and lease holders on public lands. Congresswoman Cheney’s legislation will be part of a package of bills supported by the Congressional Western Caucus aimed at modernizing the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
“For too long livestock producers have battled against the federal government’s attempts to reduce grazing on public lands. This language is crucial to safeguarding ranchers, who legally graze on federal lands, from frivolous lawsuits that force them off their allotments, leaving them no choice other than to sell their livestock at fire sale prices and subjecting them to economic ruin,” Cheney said. “My proposal ensures they will be able to continue to graze on public lands as they have for generations and it fulfills the intended mission of the multiple use doctrine by protecting the interests of stakeholders in Wyoming. These reforms, in addition to the other pieces of legislation included in this package, are key to modernizing the Endangered Species Act and bringing it into the 21st century.”
The Increasing Access and Multiple Use Act will ensure no net loss due to new critical habitat designations or listings of species under the ESA and ensures their mere presence is not the sole reason for preventing multiple use activities, according to a news release from the Congresswoman’s office. Under the proposal, vacant grazing allotments would also be made available to grazing permit holders if their permit is made unusable because of certain circumstances, such as catastrophic wildlife. Also included in this legislation are provisions to ensure grazing permittees are adequately compensated for livestock depredation caused by reintroduced species.