November 16, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator 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.
By removing this restriction on ranchers, this legislation would allow our nation’s producers to continue conducting their operations in a timely manner while still protecting our lands from major, unapproved changes.
“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.”
This legislation has received support from the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and the Wyoming Farm Bureau.
“The Ranching Without Red Tape Act provides a desperately needed tool for ranchers to install and maintain simple resource improvements that contribute to the success of the ranch while fostering enhanced resource conditions on the public lands.” – Jim Magagna, Wyoming Stock Growers Association
“The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation appreciates Senator Barrasso’s commitment to the agricultural industry in Wyoming. This legislation is a good first step toward providing common sense solutions for issues facing federal lands ranchers.”
Co-sponsors of this legislation include U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah).
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.