The nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management, which manages about one of every 10 acres of surface lands in the U.S., will get a vote Thursday in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee after months of debate over her role in the spiking of trees on a national forest in 1989.
States in the West and the High Plains are currently facing what Brad Rippey, a USDA meteorologist in the Office of the Chief Economist, calls the “most expansive” drought the U.S. has seen since 2012 and 2013.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing federally protected status under the Endangered Species Act for two populations of the lesser prairie-chicken that occupy parts of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado.
Ranchers and environmental advocates are keeping a close eye on a decision by an Interior Department administrative law judge that found the Bureau of Land Management did not adequately analyze the impacts of grazing on greater sage-grouse habitat in Nevada.
New faces will head key departments as the Biden administration takes office Jan. 20, and their actions on regulations affecting agriculture and rural America may differ sharply from the last four years.
The Senate is set this week to pass a landmark land conservation bill over the objections of cattle producers, and President Donald Trump’s trade chief will face questioning by Senate and House panels.
A just-announced Bureau of Land Management effort to revise grazing regulations is already sparking sharp disagreements between ranching supporters, who welcome it as common-sense reform, and opponents, who say BLM is favoring the needs of cattle over the environment.