Arizona Farm Bureau President Stephanie Smallhouse asked Congress to streamline regulations to preserve ranching, as well as the land itself. The fifth-generation rancher appeared before the Subcommittee on Federal Lands.Smallhouse told the members that America’s vast government-owned grazing lands would be much worse off if there weren’t private caretakers who work to maintain those federal and state lands. Those caretakers put in the same effort to care for those lands as they do privately-owned ranch land located next to and within the federal and state rangeland. Smallhouse says the partnership maintains open space on private, state, and federal lands through the management of watersheds. Access to government lands also helps cattle to not overgraze the areas they live in, which is good for the environment. Smallhouse did say that environmental review of projects that help both the environment and the economy take too long. “Agencies should be focusing on cutting red tape so that more time and effort is devoted to on-the-ground improvements,” Smallhouse says.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.