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BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced legislation to make it easier for ranchers to make range improvements on federal land. The Ranching Without Red Tape Act streamlines the permitting process and ensures a timelier response from federal agencies for America’s ranchers.

Under current law, ranchers who hold a grazing permit on federal lands must renegotiate their permit to make range improvements not outlined in their original agreement. Range improvements can vary from structural changes to fixing a fence, all of which are critical to managing livestock and increasing production. Renegotiating permits is a lengthy and complicated process that delays production and work on ranches. 

This legislation removes this restriction on ranchers, which would allow for our nation’s producers to continue conducting their operations in a timely manner while still protecting our lands from major, unapproved changes. 

“As a rancher, I know first-hand the burdens federal red tape poses when range improvements are needed,”  said Risch. “The Ranching Without Red Tape Act will stop unnecessary and costly regulations and allow ranchers across Idaho to focus on work we love most.”

“In Wyoming, ranching is a long-standing tradition and a way of life. Our ranchers are proud stewards of our land,”  said Senator Barrasso. “Our hardworking ranchers shouldn’t have to waste time and resources trying to navigate burdensome and unnecessary Washington red tape. The  Ranching Without Red Tape Act will make it easier for Wyoming’s producers to make much-needed range improvements so they can go back to focusing on keeping their operations running strong.”

Co-sponsors of this legislation include U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Background :

The Ranching Without Red Tape Act would: 

  • Allow permittees to carry out minor range improvements within a short timeline if their request is approved by USFS or BLM, and allow permittees to make improvements if the agencies do not respond within that timeframe.
  • Instruct USFS and BLM to respond to applicable larger improvement requests within an accelerated period.
  • Expedite the process of federal agencies making improvements by using all administrative tools and authorities available to them, including categorical exclusions.

Full text of the legislation can be found  here.

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