WASHINGTON — The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council expressed reservations about H.R. 3400, the so-called “Recreation Not Red-Tape Act,” as the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee prepares to mark up the bill.
“We strongly support the principle of multiple use of public lands,” said Ethan Lane, Executive Director of the Public Lands Council and NCBAs Federal Lands. “That said, the federal government shouldn’t be in the business of favoring one use over another, and that’s what this legislation does as it’s currently written.”
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 requires multiple use on public lands. This means that every American has a place on public lands – whether a hiker, camper, cattle rancher or energy producer, Lane said.
The Bureau of Land Management’s definition includes managing public land resources for “a variety of uses, such as energy development, livestock grazing, recreation, and timber harvesting, while protecting a wide array of natural, cultural, and historical resources.”
Lane said that ranching is an essential element of multiple use because the practice easily coexists with other activities and does not preclude any of them from happening concurrently.
“Recreation should absolutely continue to be part of the multiple use of our public lands, but Washington shouldn’t go out of its way to promote it at the expense of other uses – like ranching.”