Rangeland Ecology & Management

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Public Lands Grazing

NEPA for Ranchers

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The National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA is the single most important environmental law in the United States.

Photo by: Conely

NEPA comes into play whenever a federal land management agency, including the BLM or US Forest Service, considers making a decision or carrying out a project that could potentially impact natural resources on public lands. Included in this is issuance of 10-year grazing permits and any projects that are not specifically included as improvements in current grazing permits. This includes new fencing, establishing access to or maintaining waters, and other range improvements. The NEPA process can take a long time, often years. Because of this it is essential that ranchers engage at the outset to ensure their opinions are considered throughout the process.

How can ranchers engage in NEPA? What does it mean to “do NEPA” on a grazing allotment? This topic section steps through the NEPA process, highlights key points where and how ranchers should engage in the process. The information on these NEPA pages is also available from the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension as a book, NEPA for Ranchers. No matter if you use this webpage or the NEPA for Ranchers  guidebook, the most important thing is to be involved in the process so the agency understands your perspective, needs for range improvements, and the effect of decisions on your operation.


Further Reading