Ethan Lane, Senior Executive Director of the Public Lands Council and NCBA Federal Lands, issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s passage of S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act.
“Ultimately, the biggest win in this package is simply it’s passage. Clearing the decks of so many local issues will free up natural resources policymakers on Capitol Hill to get back to the business of solving problems, rather than creating new ones. We look forward to working with them to do just that.
“Cattle producers who read the public lands package passed by the Senate will see much good news. Between the creation of a public database for recipients of Equal Access to Justice (EAJA) funds, critical wilderness boundary adjustments, or the resolution of long-standing land and ownership disputes, the bill advances a number of public policy priorities for U.S. ranchers.
“Unfortunately, the bill also includes several provisions that are sure to leave rural communities scratching their heads. The biggest question mark surrounds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which the Senate voted to permanently reauthorize with only minor progress toward providing states with their fair share of funding. In the absence of Congressional oversight, the LWCF looks set to become a slush fund used to prioritize recreation over other multiples uses of federal land. Our focus remains on ensuring rural communities that depend on grazing do not pay the price.”