NCBA says that increase in visitors to public lands is straining resources

As people turn to outdoor activities to replace social gatherings, public lands, forests, and national parks are all seeing more visitors. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association testified about the changes at a Senate hearing on energy and natural resources.

Western cattle producers manage 250 million acres of public lands, in partnership with the federal government. Ethan Lane, the VP of government affairs, says that producers are facing new challenges for resource management.

“Our producers are seeing large surges of ad hock usage of those lands, which already before this pandemic were quite popular with the American people. That is the point, this is a multiple use environment, that is something that our producers hold very dear. They have manages in that environment for sometimes as much as seven generations, but at the volumes we are seeing now, we are seeing some of those resources stretched beyond what they really can sustain. We’re seeing water sources that are not just used by livestock, but by wildlife as well, and circled by large SUVs, 4-wheel drive vehicles and other resources, while ignoring request that those be handled in a way that provides access for wildlife and livestock to those water sources.”