Three months after a coalition of environmentalists, hunters and anglers shot down his grazing bill, Republican Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico has resurrected it (HCN, 8/21/95). The new version is 60 pages leaner and ensures public-lands access for fishing, hunting, and other recreational uses.
Ranchers like the new bill and its emphasis
on cooperation with land managers, says Ken Spann, a Colorado
rancher who chairs the National Cattlemen's Association federal
lands committee. To most non-ranchers, the revision is little more
than a paint job.
"Domenici's attitude that "it's
the rancher's land" is still reflected in this bill," says Cathy
Carlson, public lands specialist for the National Wildlife
Federation in Boulder, Colo.
The bill continues
to exclude conservationists from grazing advisory councils, and it
withholds grazing permits from people outside of the livestock
industry, making it "totally inadequate" in terms of involving the
public in land management decisions, says Steve Moyer, staffer with
Trout Unlimited. The revised bill also limits the extent to which
land managers can use the National Environmental Policy Act to
review management plans, and it prevents federal agencies from
mandating minimum water flows through public streams.