Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Supreme Court Overturns BLM Grazing Regulations

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Victory Could Be A Plus To Wild Horses/Burros

Private Cattle being herded onto public land at Antelope AS wild horses are being stampeded away ~ photo by Terry Fitch
WASHINGTON, (Western Watersheds Project) – Yesterday, Oct 3 2011, the United States Supreme Court denied consideration of an appeal by the Public Lands Council of prior federal court decisions overturning Bureau of land Management grazing regulations promulgated during the George W. Bush administration. The decision affects over 160,000,000 acres of public land in eleven western states.
The Public Lands Council was an intervenor in successful litigation brought by Western Watersheds Project, an Idaho based conservation organization that had filed the litigation that overturned the Bush BLM livestock grazing regulations in federal District Court in Idaho in 2006.
On September 1, 2010 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the Idaho District Court’s decision permanently overturning the Bush era grazing regulations as violating the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act thereby affirming the BLM livestock grazing regulations created by the Clinton administration and then-Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt in 1995.
The Bureau of Land Management did not appeal the prior court decisions supporting Western Watersheds Project legal position.
“This decision by the Supreme Court stops forever the Bush Administrations attempt to roll back the conservation-based livestock grazing regulations of the Clinton administration.” said Jon Marvel, executive director of Western Watersheds Project, “Perhaps now the BLM will embrace the conservation intent of the 1995 grazing regulations,” Marvel said.
The overturned George W. Bush BLM livestock grazing regulations would have greatly reduced public involvement in the administration of livestock production on 160,000,000 acres of western public lands while creating new property rights for ranchers for water rights and range installations.
Western Watersheds Project was ably represented in this litigation by attorney Laird Lucas of Advocates for the West’s Boise office and the late Tom Lustig of the National Wildlife Federation and before the U.S. Supreme Court by Scott Nelson of the Public Citizen Litigation Group.

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