Environmental: BLM Must Consider Reduced-Grazing Alternatives, NEPA Says

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 12:00 am
 
Land Use Law Report, Volume 41, Number 7
 

The BLM violated NEPA by renewing a grazing permit without considering lower-impact alternatives to maintaining the same level of grazing.

Facts: In 2001, President Clinton designated an area in north-central Montana as the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (Breaks Monument). The area is one of "unparalleled scenic beauty, great geological and biological import, and special historical significance." It is also an area used to graze livestock. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages the Breaks Monument and regulates livestock grazing there.

The ten-year grazing permit for one part of the Breaks Monument, the Woodhawk Allotment, expired in 2008. The BLM had issued the permit before the area was designated a National Monument, and it applied the Lewistown District Standards for Rangeland Health and Guidelines for Livestock Grazing Management (Lewistown Standards) to do so. The Lewistown Standards set out guidelines and standards to help the[..]

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