Summary: S.258 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (05/22/2014)

Grazing Improvement Act - Amends the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 to revise provisions related to grazing leases and permits.

Extends the maximum period of a term for grazing permits and leases for domestic livestock grazing on public lands or lands within national forests in 16 contiguous western states from 10 years to 20 years, if the Secretary of Interior with respect to land administered by Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to National Forest Service System land (the Secretary concerned) has assessed and evaluated the grazing allotment and determined that the grazing allotment meets applicable standards or objectives.

Requires a permit or lease to be continued until the Secretary concerned completes any environmental analysis and documentation for the permit or lease required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and other applicable laws.

Instructs the Secretary concerned to seek to conduct environmental reviews on an allotment or multiple allotment basis, if the allotments share similar ecological conditions for purposes of compliance with NEPA and other applicable laws.

Permits the exclusion of grazing permits or leases from environmental assessment or environmental impact statement requirements under NEPA if: (1) the issued permit or lease continues the current grazing management of the allotment, and (2) the Secretary concerned has determined that the allotment meets applicable standards or objectives. Permits the exclusion of the trailing and crossing of livestock across public land from such requirements.

Gives the Secretary concerned sole discretion to determine the priority and timing for completing each required environmental analysis based on environmental significance and available funding.

Establishes in the Departments of the Interior and of Agriculture (USDA) a pilot program that: (1) authorizes the voluntary relinquishment of grazing permits or leases in New Mexico and Oregon, and (2) provides that grazing permits or leases voluntarily relinquished shall be permanently retired from further grazing authorization.