Beef, Land Groups Pleased With Senate Funding Bill Provisions

Beef, Land Groups Pleased With Senate Funding Bill Provisions

Senate-passed funding bill includes language to limit EPA's Waters of the U.S. interpretive rule

The $1.1 trillion omnibus package passed by the Senate Saturday included provisions important to beef producers, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Public Lands Council said in a released statement.

According to the groups, the bill's withdrawal of the Waters of the United States interpretive rule addresses "over-burdensome" EPA regulations.

Related: Fiscal 2015 Omnibus Passes House with Ag Riders

The rule, they said, adds uncertainty rather than explanation for landowners and threatens fines of up to $37,500 per day.

While not a complete fix, said NCBA President Bob McCan and PLC President Brenda Richards, it's a step in addressing farmers' and ranchers' concerns.

Senate-passed funding bill includes language to limit EPA's Waters of the U.S. interpretive rule

The bill also contained continued assurance on a number of environmental regulations, McCan and Richards said, as it prevents funding for the EPA to require cattle producers to obtain greenhouse gas permits for livestock and to prevent mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from manure management systems.

The groups also highlighted public lands and wildlife provisions, including holding level budgets for the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service.

"Viable public lands and the ranchers who lease those acres are critical not only to the cattle industry, but to the preservation of those lands for multiple use, wildlife habitat and wildfire prevention and suppression. The bill kept ranchers in the West on the land," McCan and Richards said.

Additional language in the bill prevents the listing of the sage grouse as endangered, and preserved funding for conservation of the sage grouse's habitat.

"Listing the sage grouse would take the most successful natural resource stewards, ranchers, off the land," the groups said.

"We greatly appreciate Congress' passage of this important legislation," they noted.

Source: PLC/NCBA

TAGS: USDA Livestock
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