Conflict Resolution Act
Federal public lands grazing
is an environmentally damaging fiscal boondoggle that not only fails taxpayers,
but fails to provide security for ranchers dependent on public lands. The Multiple-Use
Conflict Resolution Act (MUCRA, H.R. 3166) is a socially just, environmentally
imperative, fiscally prudent, and permanent solution to public lands grazing
Environmental Problems with
Federal Public Lands Grazing
- Grazing damages entire landscapes
and is a major source of non-point water pollution.
- Domestic livestock displace
native species. Grazing is listed as a contributing factor in the decline
of 22% of all species listed on the federal threatened and endangered species
Fiscal Problems with Federal
Public Lands Grazing
- The direct and indirect
costs to taxpayers (about $200 million annually) of managing Forest Service
and Bureau of Land Management grazing permits and leases greatly exceeds the
revenue generated from grazing fees (less than $16 million annually).
Problems for Federal Public
- Public lands ranching is
at best a marginal economic pursuit. Most public lands ranches have a negative
to 3% nominal return on investment, which fails even to keep pace with inflation.
- The average acre of private
lands pasture in the East is 82 times more productive than the average acre
of Bureau of Land Management grazing lands in the West.
- Drought has increased hardships
for ranchers, forcing many to reduce or eliminate their herds. Even if the
drought were to end now, many ranchers could not afford a new herd to resume
grazing on public lands and would stand to lose their grazing permits and
the market value they once held.
- Many permittees are approaching
retirement age and have children who are unable or unwilling to come back
and take over the family ranch.
- Conflicts with other uses
of federal public lands (endangered species recovery, wildlife habitat, protection
of water quality/quantity, recreation and others) are making public lands
livestock grazing more problematic.
Multiple-Use Conflict Resolution
Act: A Mutually Beneficial Solution to Federal Public Lands Grazing Problems
- MUCRA would allow any federal
grazing permittee or lessee who wishes to voluntarily waive his/her permit
or lease in exchange for compensation. The associated grazing allotment would
subsequently be closed to livestock grazing and the conflicts thereon would
- MUCRA is a voluntary, non-regulatory,
market-based solution to public lands grazing conflicts.
- MUCRA is mutually beneficial
to the interests of ranchers, environmentalists and taxpayers:
- Ranchers would be able
to cut their losses, restructure their operations on private lands (without
federal overseers), retire or start a new business.
- Retiring permits/leases
and closing the associated grazing allotments to grazing will reduce the
pressure on sensitive lands, water resources and wildlife, and the accompanying
political and legal strife over grazing conflicts.
- Retiring permits/leases
will greatly reduce the cost of federal public lands management, saving
as much as $200 million annually.