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113th Congress  }                                       { Rept. 113-145
  1st Session   }        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES       {        Part 1

=======================================================================

 
                        GRAZING IMPROVEMENT ACT 

                                _______
                                

  July 9, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                  
                                R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 657]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 657) to amend the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976 to improve the management of grazing 
leases and permits, and for other purposes, having considered 
the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and 
recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Grazing Improvement Act''.

SEC. 2. TERMS OF GRAZING PERMITS AND LEASES.

  Section 402 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 
U.S.C. 1752) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``ten years'' each place it appears and 
        inserting ``20 years'';
          (2) in subsection (b)--
                  (A) by striking ``or'' at the end of each of 
                paragraphs (1) and (2);
                  (B) in paragraph (3), by striking the period at the 
                end and inserting ``; or''; and
                  (C) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(4) the initial environmental analysis under National 
        Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) 
        regarding a grazing allotment, permit, or lease has not been 
        completed.''; and
          (3) after subsection (h), insert the following new 
        subsection:
  ``(i) Only applicants, permittees and lessees whose interest in 
grazing livestock is directly affected by a final grazing decision may 
appeal the decision to an administrative law judge.''.

SEC. 3. RENEWAL, TRANSFER, AND REISSUANCE OF GRAZING PERMITS AND 
                    LEASES.

  (a) Amendment.--Title IV of the Federal Land Policy and Management 
Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end 
the following:

``SEC. 405. RENEWAL, TRANSFER, AND REISSUANCE OF GRAZING PERMITS AND 
                    LEASES.

  ``(a) Definitions.--In this section:
          ``(1) Current grazing management.--The term `current grazing 
        management' means grazing in accordance with the terms and 
        conditions of an existing permit or lease and includes any 
        modifications that are consistent with an applicable Department 
        of Interior resource management plan or Department of 
        Agriculture land use plan.
          ``(2) Secretary concerned.--The term `Secretary concerned' 
        means--
                  ``(A) the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to 
                National Forest System land; and
                  ``(B) the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to 
                land under the jurisdiction of the Department of the 
                Interior.
  ``(b) Renewal, Transfer, Reissuance, and Pending Processing.--A 
grazing permit or lease issued by the Secretary of the Interior, or a 
grazing permit issued by the Secretary of Agriculture regarding 
National Forest System land, that expires, is transferred, or is waived 
shall be renewed or reissued under, as appropriate--
          ``(1) section 402;
          ``(2) section 19 of the Act of April 24, 1950 (commonly known 
        as the `Granger-Thye Act'; 16 U.S.C. 580l);
          ``(3) title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act (7 
        U.S.C. 1010 et seq.); or
          ``(4) section 510 the California Desert Protection Act of 
        1994 (16 U.S.C. 410aaa-50).
  ``(c) Terms; Conditions.--The terms and conditions (except the 
termination date) contained in an expired, transferred, or waived 
permit or lease described in subsection (b) shall continue in effect 
under a renewed or reissued permit or lease until the date on which the 
Secretary concerned completes the processing of the renewed or reissued 
permit or lease that is the subject of the expired, transferred, or 
waived permit or lease, in compliance with each applicable law.
  ``(d) Cancellation; Suspension; Modification.--Notwithstanding 
subsection (c), a permit or lease described in subsection (b) may be 
cancelled, suspended, or modified in accordance with applicable law.
  ``(e) Renewal Transfer Reissuance After Processing.--When the 
Secretary concerned has completed the processing of the renewed or 
reissued permit or lease that is the subject of the expired, 
transferred, or waived permit or lease, the Secretary concerned shall 
renew or reissue the permit or lease for a term of 20 years after 
completion of processing.
  ``(f) Compliance With National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.--The 
renewal, reissuance, or transfer of a grazing permit or lease by the 
Secretary concerned shall be categorically excluded from the 
requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental 
impact statement if--
          ``(1) the decision continues to renew, reissue, or transfer 
        the current grazing management of the allotment;
          ``(2) monitoring of the allotment has indicated that the 
        current grazing management has met, or has satisfactorily 
        progressed towards meeting, objectives contained in the land 
        use and resource management plan of the allotment, as 
        determined by the Secretary concerned; or
          ``(3) the decision is consistent with the policy of the 
        Department of the Interior or the Department of Agriculture, as 
        appropriate, regarding extraordinary circumstances.
  ``(g) Priority and Timing for Completing Environmental Analyses.--The 
Secretary concerned, in the sole discretion of the Secretary concerned, 
shall determine the priority and timing for completing each required 
environmental analysis regarding any grazing allotment, permit, or 
lease based on the environmental significance of the allotment, permit, 
or lease and available funding for that purpose.
  ``(h) NEPA Exemptions.--The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) shall not apply to the following:
          ``(1) Crossing and trailing authorizations of domestic 
        livestock.
          ``(2) Transfer of grazing preference.
          ``(3) Range improvements as defined under 43 U.S.C. 315c and 
        16 U.S.C. 580h.''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act of 1976 is amended by adding after the item 
for section 404, the following:

``Sec. 405. Renewal, transfer, and reissuance of grazing permits and 
leases.''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 657 is to amend the Federal Land Policy 
and Management Act of 1976 to improve the management of grazing 
leases and permits.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Livestock grazing represents one of the earliest uses of 
federally-managed lands and continues to represent a multiple 
use that is essential to the livestock industry, wildlife 
habitat, open space and the rural economies of many western 
communities. While grazing has historically been viewed as a 
``use'' of the public lands, it has also come to be recognized 
as an important `tool' for the management of these lands.
    Approximately 40 percent of beef cattle in the West and 
half of the nation's sheep spend some time on federal lands. 
Without public land grazing, grazing use of significant 
portions of state and private lands would necessarily cease, 
and the cattle and sheep industries would be dramatically 
downsized, threatening infrastructure and the entire market 
structure. Livestock grazing permit holders and public land 
agencies have been relying on appropriation bill riders 
affecting grazing permit issuance for over a decade. Agencies 
cannot complete the needed National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) obligations due to the backlog of lawsuits filed to 
delay permitting and to advance an environmental agenda of 
eliminating livestock grazing from public lands.
    Like the appropriations riders, H.R. 657 allows for the 
utilization and issuance of permits and leases once they have 
expired until the necessary environmental analyses can be 
completed. The Grazing Improvement Act is an essential step in 
restoring a stable business environment to the public lands 
grazing industry and retaining an important land management 
tool for the healthy stewardship of our nation's public lands, 
wildlife habitat and rural economies in the West. It also 
extends the terms of the grazing permits from 10 to 20 years.
    During Full Committee consideration of the bill, the 
Committee adopted an amendment offered by Congressman Raul 
Labrador (R-ID) to exempt minor administrative decisions 
relating to range improvements from NEPA. Consistent with the 
intent of the Taylor Grazing Act, the amendment ensures that 
only public lands grazers directly affected by an 
administrative grazing decision will have the right to appeal 
that decision if they are adversely affected. This will close a 
loophole that is being exploited by off-site, ideological 
extremists who appeal nearly every agency decision for the sake 
of complicating the process and harming the industry. This 
amendment will ensure that the appeals process returns to a 
fair and timely practice, as was originally intended.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 657 was introduced on February 13, 2013, by 
Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. The 
bill was also referred to the Committee on Agriculture. On 
April 18, 2013, the Subcommittee on Public Lands and 
Environmental Regulation held a hearing on the bill. On June 
12, 2013, the Full Natural Resources Committee met to consider 
the bill. The Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental 
Regulation was discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman 
Labrador offered an en bloc amendment designated #1; the 
amendment was adopted by voice vote. Congressman Raul Grijalva 
(D-AZ) offered an amendment designated .047; the amendment was 
not adopted by voice vote. No further amendments were offered, 
and the bill, as amended, was then adopted and ordered 
favorably reported to the House of Representatives by a 
bipartisan roll call vote of 27 to 15, as follows:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that Rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 657--Grazing Improvement Act

    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 657 would affect 
offsetting receipts, which are treated as reductions in direct 
spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, 
CBO estimates that any such effects would be negligible over 
the 2014-2023 period. We also estimate that implementing the 
legislation would have no significant impact on discretionary 
spending. Enacting H.R. 657 would not affect revenues.
    H.R. 657 would increase the term of new grazing permits on 
federal lands from 10 years to 20 years and allow expired and 
transferred grazing permits to remain in effect until new 
permits are issued by the Bureau of Land Management or the 
Forest Service. Based on information provided by the affected 
agencies, CBO estimates that enacting that provision would have 
a minimal impact on offsetting receipts each year because those 
agencies have the authority under current law to extend expired 
permits. The bill would allow the affected agencies to collect 
offsetting receipts from transferred permits sooner than it 
would under current law; however, because the number of permits 
that would be affected each year accounts for less than 5 
percent of all federal grazing permits, the net budgetary 
impact would be negligible. In 2012, gross federal collections 
from grazing permits totaled about $20 million.
    Because the bill would allow transferred permits to remain 
in effect under the terms of the original permit until that 
permit expires, CBO expects that the agencies would receive 
fewer requests for new permits in the next few years; however, 
because those permits would need to be renewed in later years, 
CBO estimates that implementing the provision would have no 
significant net effect on agencies' workloads over the 2014-
2018 period.
    Finally, the bill would exclude certain grazing lands from 
compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 
and would exempt certain renewed or transferred grazing permits 
from NEPA requirements. CBO estimates that those provisions 
would have no effect on discretionary spending because we 
expect that any reduction in spending on NEPA activities on 
those lands would be spent to reduce the agencies' backlog of 
incomplete NEPA activities on other federal lands.
    H.R. 657 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. CBO estimates that 
enacting H.R. 657 would affect offsetting receipts, which are 
treated as reductions in direct spending; therefore, pay-as-
you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any such 
effects would be negligible over the 2014-2023 period. CBO also 
estimates that implementing the legislation would have no 
significant impact on discretionary spending.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to amend the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976 to improve the management of grazing 
leases and permits.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       Compliance With H. Res. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

FEDERAL LAND POLICY AND MANAGEMENT ACT OF 1976

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                            TABLE OF CONTENTS

               TITLE I--SHORT TITLE; POLICIES; DEFINITIONS

 Sec. 101. Short title.
     * * * * * * *

                       TITLE IV--RANGE MANAGEMENT

     * * * * * * *
 Sec. 405. Renewal, transfer, and reissuance of grazing permits and 
          leases.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE IV--RANGE MANAGEMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                       grazing leases and permits

  Sec. 402. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this 
section, permits and leases for domestic livestock grazing on 
public lands issued by the Secretary under the Act of June 28, 
1934 (48 Stat. 1269, as amended; 43 U.S.C. 315 et seq.) or the 
Act of August 28, 1937 (50 Stat. 874, as amended; 43 U.S.C. 
1181a-1181j), or by the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect 
to lands within National Forests in the sixteen contiguous 
Western States, shall be for a term of [ten years] 20 years 
subject to such terms and conditions the Secretary concerned 
deems appropriate and consistent with the governing law, 
including, but not limited to, the authority of the Secretary 
concerned to cancel, suspend, or modify a grazing permit or 
lease, in whole or in part, pursuant to the terms and 
conditions thereof, or to cancel or suspend a grazing permit or 
lease for any violation of a grazing regulation or of any term 
or condition of such grazing permit or lease.
  (b) Permits or leases may be issued by the Secretary 
concerned for a period shorter than [ten years] 20 years where 
the Secretary concerned determines that--
          (1) the land is pending disposal; [or]
          (2) the land will be devoted to a public purpose 
        prior to the end of [ten years] 20 years; [or]
          (3) it will be in the best interest of sound land 
        management to specify a shorter term: Provided, That 
        the absence from an allotment management plan of 
        details the Secretary concerned would like to include 
        but which are undeveloped shall not be the basis for 
        establishing a term shorter than [ten years] 20 years: 
        Provided further, That the absence of completed land 
        use plans or court ordered environmental statements 
        shall not be the sole basis for establishing a term 
        shorter than [ten years] 20 years unless the Secretary 
        determines on a case-by-case basis that the information 
        to be contained in such land use plan or court ordered 
        environmental impact statement is necessary to 
        determine whether a shorter term should be established 
        for any of the reasons set forth in items (1) through 
        (3) of this subsection[.]; or
          (4) the initial environmental analysis under National 
        Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
        seq.) regarding a grazing allotment, permit, or lease 
        has not been completed.
  (c) So long as (1) the lands for which the permit or lease is 
issued remain available for domestic livestock grazing in 
accordance with land use plans prepared pursuant to section 202 
of this Act or section 5 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable 
Resources Planning Act of 1974 (88 Stat. 477; 16 U.S.C. 1601), 
(2) the permittee or lessee is in compliance with the rules and 
regulations issued and the terms and conditions in the permit 
or lease specified by the Secretary concerned, and (3) the 
permittee or lessee accepts the terms and conditions to be 
included by the Secretary concerned in the new permit or lease, 
the holder of the expiring permit or lease shall be given first 
priority for receipt of the new permit or lease.
  (d) All permits and leases for domestic livestock grazing 
issued pursuant to this section may incorporate an allotment 
management plan developed by the Secretary concerned. However, 
nothing in this subsection shall be construed to supersede any 
requirement for completion of court ordered environmental 
impact statements prior to development and incorporation of 
allotment management plans. If the Secretary concerned elects 
to develop an allotment management plan for a given area, he 
shall do so in careful and considered consultation, cooperation 
and coordination with the lessees, permittees, and landowners 
involved, the district grazing advisory boards established 
pursuant to section 403 of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act (43 U.S.C. 1753), and any State or States having 
lands within the area to be covered by such allotment 
management plan. Allotment management plans shall be tailored 
to the specific range condition of the area to be covered by 
such plan, and shall be reviewed on a periodic basis to 
determine whether they have been effective in improving the 
range condition of the lands involved or whether such lands can 
be better managed under the provisions of subsection (e) of 
this section. The Secretary concerned may revise or terminate 
such plans or develop new plans from time to time after such 
review and careful and considered consultation, cooperation and 
coordination with the parties involved. As used in this 
subsection, the terms ``court ordered environmental impact 
statement'' and ``range condition'' shall be defined as in the 
``Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978.''
  (e) In all cases where the Secretary concerned has not 
completed an allotment management plan or determines that an 
allotment management plan is not necessary for management of 
livestock operations and will not be prepared, the Secretary 
concerned shall incorporate in grazing permits and leases such 
terms and conditions as he deems appropriate for management of 
the permitted or leased lands pursuant to applicable law. The 
Secretary concerned shall also specify therein the numbers of 
animals to be grazed and the seasons of use and that he may 
reexamine the condition of the range at any time and, if he 
finds on reexamination that the condition of the range requires 
adjustment in the amount or other aspect of grazing use, that 
the permittee or lessee shall adjust his use to the extent the 
Secretary concerned deems necessary. Such readjustment shall be 
put into full force and effect on the date specified by the 
Secretary concerned.
  (f) Allotment management plans shall not refer to livestock 
operation or range improvements on non-Federal lands except 
where the non-Federal lands are intermingled with, or, with the 
consent of the permittee or lessee involved, associated with, 
the Federal lands subject to the plan. The Secretary concerned 
under appropriate regulations shall grant to lessees and 
permittees the right of appeal from decisions which specify the 
terms and conditions of allotment management plans. The 
preceding sentence of this subsection shall not be construed as 
limiting any other right of appeal from decisions on such 
officials.
  (g) Whenever a permit or lease for grazing domestic livestock 
is canceled in whole or in part, in order to devote the lands 
covered by the permit or lease to another public purpose, 
including disposal, the permittee or lessee shall receive from 
the United States a reasonable compensation for the adjusted 
value, to be determined by the Secretary concerned, of his 
interest in authorized permanent improvements placed or 
constructed by the permittee or lessee on lands covered by such 
permit or lease, but not to exceed the fair market value of the 
terminated portion of the permittee's or lessee's interest 
therein. Except in cases of emergency, no permit or lease shall 
be canceled under this subsection without two years' prior 
notification.
  (h) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as modifying in 
any way law existing on the date of approval of this Act with 
respect to the creation of right, title, interest or estate in 
or to public lands or lands in National Forests by issuance of 
grazing permits and leases.
  (i) Only applicants, permittees and lessees whose interest in 
grazing livestock is directly affected by a final grazing 
decision may appeal the decision to an administrative law 
judge.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 405. RENEWAL, TRANSFER, AND REISSUANCE OF GRAZING PERMITS AND 
                    LEASES.

  (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Current grazing management.--The term ``current 
        grazing management'' means grazing in accordance with 
        the terms and conditions of an existing permit or lease 
        and includes any modifications that are consistent with 
        an applicable Department of Interior resource 
        management plan or Department of Agriculture land use 
        plan.
          (2) Secretary concerned.--The term ``Secretary 
        concerned'' means--
                  (A) the Secretary of Agriculture, with 
                respect to National Forest System land; and
                  (B) the Secretary of the Interior, with 
                respect to land under the jurisdiction of the 
                Department of the Interior.
  (b) Renewal, Transfer, Reissuance, and Pending Processing.--A 
grazing permit or lease issued by the Secretary of the 
Interior, or a grazing permit issued by the Secretary of 
Agriculture regarding National Forest System land, that 
expires, is transferred, or is waived shall be renewed or 
reissued under, as appropriate--
          (1) section 402;
          (2) section 19 of the Act of April 24, 1950 (commonly 
        known as the ``Granger-Thye Act''; 16 U.S.C. 580l);
          (3) title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act 
        (7 U.S.C. 1010 et seq.); or
          (4) section 510 the California Desert Protection Act 
        of 1994 (16 U.S.C. 410aaa-50).
  (c) Terms; Conditions.--The terms and conditions (except the 
termination date) contained in an expired, transferred, or 
waived permit or lease described in subsection (b) shall 
continue in effect under a renewed or reissued permit or lease 
until the date on which the Secretary concerned completes the 
processing of the renewed or reissued permit or lease that is 
the subject of the expired, transferred, or waived permit or 
lease, in compliance with each applicable law.
  (d) Cancellation; Suspension; Modification.--Notwithstanding 
subsection (c), a permit or lease described in subsection (b) 
may be cancelled, suspended, or modified in accordance with 
applicable law.
  (e) Renewal Transfer Reissuance after Processing.--When the 
Secretary concerned has completed the processing of the renewed 
or reissued permit or lease that is the subject of the expired, 
transferred, or waived permit or lease, the Secretary concerned 
shall renew or reissue the permit or lease for a term of 20 
years after completion of processing.
  (f) Compliance With National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969.--The renewal, reissuance, or transfer of a grazing permit 
or lease by the Secretary concerned shall be categorically 
excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental 
assessment or an environmental impact statement if--
          (1) the decision continues to renew, reissue, or 
        transfer the current grazing management of the 
        allotment;
          (2) monitoring of the allotment has indicated that 
        the current grazing management has met, or has 
        satisfactorily progressed towards meeting, objectives 
        contained in the land use and resource management plan 
        of the allotment, as determined by the Secretary 
        concerned; or
          (3) the decision is consistent with the policy of the 
        Department of the Interior or the Department of 
        Agriculture, as appropriate, regarding extraordinary 
        circumstances.
  (g) Priority and Timing for Completing Environmental 
Analyses.--The Secretary concerned, in the sole discretion of 
the Secretary concerned, shall determine the priority and 
timing for completing each required environmental analysis 
regarding any grazing allotment, permit, or lease based on the 
environmental significance of the allotment, permit, or lease 
and available funding for that purpose.
  (h) NEPA Exemptions.--The National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) shall not apply to the 
following:
          (1) Crossing and trailing authorizations of domestic 
        livestock.
          (2) Transfer of grazing preference.
          (3) Range improvements as defined under 43 U.S.C. 
        315c and 16 U.S.C. 580h.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    H.R. 657 seeks to make wholesale changes to public land 
grazing law without addressing the cost of grazing to the 
American taxpayers. As reported from the Committee, the 
legislation makes two major changes in federal grazing policy. 
First, the legislation doubles the term of grazing permits from 
ten years to twenty years. Second, H.R. 657 provides sweeping 
exemptions from environmental review of new and renewed grazing 
permits.
    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for 
managing over 18,000 grazing permits on over 160 million acres 
of public lands in the West. The Forest Service manages over 
7000 permits for over 94 million acres of grazing lands. In 
1999 the BLM experienced a spike in grazing permit renewals 
which they were unable to process before the permits expired. 
This backlog has continued today, with more than 4,200 permits 
pending review. For more than ten years, Congress has included 
language in annual spending bills providing BLM with the 
ability to renew expiring grazing permits under existing terms 
and conditions even if the environmental analysis work is not 
complete. Typically, grazing permit renewals require an 
environmental analysis through the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) process to ensure that livestock is not 
negatively impacting forests, grasslands, and streams.
    No one denies the need to address the permit renewal 
backlog. However, H.R. 657 goes well beyond dealing with the 
backlog and instead rubber stamps all grazing permits without a 
meaningful analysis of the impact to our forests, grasslands, 
and waters. The bill makes no meaningful reforms to the fee 
structure and cost of grazing to the U.S. taxpayer. Currently, 
public land grazers pay $1.35 per month to graze a cow and 
calf, a horse, or five sheep or goats. This is less than $15 
per year, the average cost of one large bag of dog food. 
Meanwhile, states are charging upwards of $12 per month which 
totals nearly $150 per year. The GAO and others have estimated 
that the below-market gazing fee costs the United States 
taxpayer more than $100 million a year.
    During Committee consideration of the legislation, 
Subcommittee Ranking Member Grijalva offered an amendment to 
address the grazing fee issue. The Grijalva amendment reflected 
the Obama Administration's Fiscal Year 2014 proposal to create 
a pilot program that would charge a mere $1 dollar 
administrative fee for each grazing permit. This modest 
administrative fee would generate $6.5 million a year.
    H.R. 657 goes too far in making fundamental changes in 
grazing practices and falls short of address the cost of 
grazing to the America taxpayer. It should be rejected.

                                   Edward J. Markey.
                                   Raul M. Grijalva.