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NEW GRAZING PROPOSAL WOULD MUZZLE PUBLIC

"Shut up about your rangeland, we're giving it to the livestock industry."

That aptly sums up two essential elements of the new grazing bill working its way through Congress.The public rangeland may belong to all the people, but if Congress has its way, the public won't have much say in how that 270-plus million acres of federal grazing land is managed. Ranching interests will decide all that for us.

Other public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service must allow public involvement in any proposed use - such as recreation, mining, oil and gas development or timbering.

But the new grazing bill, the Public Rangelands Management Act (SB1459) drastically limits the public's right to challenge federal management decisions.