Conservationists Support Permit Buyout

Domestic livestock grazing (mostly beef cattle) have done more damage to North America than the bulldozer and chainsaw combined. Not only have livestock been degrading the landscape longer than developers, miners, and loggers, they have grazed nearly everywhere. Yet, the conservation community has paid scant attention to this issue, even on federal public lands where livestock mow through 257 million acres annually. A huge body of scientific literature describes how livestock threaten sensitive species, trample vegetation, steal forage from native wildlife, accelerate soil erosion, spread noxious weeds, alter natural fire regimes and reduce water quantity and quality.

The federal grazing program operates at a loss, costing taxpayers at least $200,000,000 annually. This figure includes direct program costs and millions of dollars spent on emergency feed, drought and flood relief, predator control and relatred programs to support or mitigate damage from public lands grazing.

Permit buyout has already succeeded at removing livestock from some public lands. In these cases, ranchers voluntarily relinquished their grazing permits to the government in exchange for compensation from third parties. Our data suggest that many more permittees/lessees would waive their grazing permit or least to the government in exchange for compensation if a government program existed.

To promote recovery of native ecosystems and save taxpayer funds, NPLGC advocates legislative reform to allow federal grazing permittees and lessees to voluntarily waive their grazing permits or leases to the government and retire their allotments for $175 per animal unit month.

Overview of the Benefits of the Multiple-Use Conflict Resolution Act

Multiple-Use Conflict Resolution Act Annotated

Position Paper: Livestock Grazing and Wilderness

Position Paper: Why Conservationists should Support Buying Out Federal Grazing Permits

NPLGC Buyout Proposal Compatible with Sierra Club Grazing Policy

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