The Public Lands Council sent a letter to the House Committee on Natural Resources recently opposing H.R. 980, also known as the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act.
NREPA would set aside 19 million acres as wilderness areas in
“This bill would make an area nearly the size of
Joel Bousman, a member of the Public Lands Council and county commissioner of
“In a western county consisting of 80 percent federal land, we thrive on multiple use of our natural resources, with the end result being a sustainable and diverse economy,” Bousman said. “Forcing more people into a smaller area available for multiple use will result in overcrowding and more resource management problems, as well as damages to the natural community.”
“Many western ranchers depend on public lands for livestock grazing,” Krebs said. “This bill would make it difficult for them to continue their operations.”
Bouseman elaborated on that point.
“Most, if not all, of the lands located in
The text of the letter
Dear Chairman Grijalva and Ranking Member Bishop,
The Public Lands Council has represented public land ranchers for over 40 years. Public land ranchers own nearly 120 million acres of the most productive private land in the West and manage vast areas of public land, accounting for critical wildlife habitat and natural resources.
H.R. 980, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, would lock up more than 19 million additional acres in wilderness areas in
The vast amount of land that would be designated under H.R. 980 would severely restrict grazing and other multiple uses of our public lands; for this reason
We thank you for your consideration of western ranchers and of a balanced multiple use management approach to our nation’s public lands.