Ranchers praise announcement of new National Environmental Policy Act rules


The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association applauded an announcement from President Trump Thursday that he and his administration will promote new regulations to implement the National Environmental Policy Act.

The NEPA was enacted in 1970 and has not undergone any substantial revisions since 1986.

The goal of the NEPA was to “create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony.”

According to the NCBA, ranchers must undergo NEPA reviews for many reasons including renewal of a term grazing permit, construction of range improvements, or to become eligible for participation in USDA programs. However, because of litigation and outside pressure, the costly processes are often further delayed and create uncertainty for livestock providers.

The draft rules, when finalized, will eliminate redundancies and clarify exemptions.

“Over time, NEPA has evolved into a complex web of onerous processes and bureaucratic red tape,” said fifth-generation Oregon rancher and Public Lands Council President Bob Skinner. “These sensible updates proposed by Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) are welcome news to ranching families whose businesses have been impacted by the overwhelming and growing costs of NEPA compliance.”

“Cattle producers across the country are grateful to President Trump and his team at CEQ for listening to rural America and providing this commonsense regulatory relief,” added National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Jennifer Houston. “Cattlemen and women should get their voice on the record by submitting comments in favor of this rulemaking.”