Delegation seeks oversight in decrease of Bighorn grazing permits
Wyoming's congressional delegation sent a letter today to Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Mark E. Rey of the Department of Agriculture to seek continual dialogue about the recent decrease in grazing permits in Bighorn National Forest.
A copy of the letter is below:
January 22, 2008
Mark E. Rey
Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment
United States Department of Agriculture
Whitten Building, Room 217E
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
Dear Under Secretary Rey:
We request your oversight of the grazing program on the Bighorn National Forest. As you may be aware, a recent decision would impose an average 48 percent reduction in livestock grazing on the Tongue allotments in the Bighorn National Forest. We believe this situation requires careful attention to resolve the ongoing conflict between USDA Forest Service local managers and grazing permittees.
Livestock grazing on National Forest lands has a strong tradition in Wyoming. Ranchers are proud stewards of the land and are often the only human presence on thousands of acres of public land. It is important that ranchers on the Bighorn National Forest and across the state maintain viable ranching operations and continue their stewardship of public lands. Wyoming 's agriculture industry, rural communities and natural resources depend on it.
There is great opportunity for Forest Service managers and livestock ranchers to come together in the best interest of our public lands. Please encourage dialogue between USDA Forest Service officials and grazing permittees to bring this ongoing conflict to a close.