Smallhouse Urges Congress to Save Ranches, Federal Lands
Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse yesterday urged Congress to streamline environmental regulation to preserve ranching as well as the land itself.
The fifth-generation southern Arizona rancher told members of the Subcommittee on Federal Lands that America’s vast, largely government-owned grazing lands would be much worse off without private sector caretakers who work to maintain federal and state lands just as they do the privately-owned ranch land located next to and within federal and state rangeland.
“This partnership maintains open space on private, state and federal lands through
Even so, Smallhouse said, federal review of projects that help the environment, as well as the economy, take much too long.
“Agencies should focus on cutting red tape so that more time and effort is devoted to on ground improvements. In addition, greater flexibility should be provided to land managers and permittees, while at the same time improving the conservation of the land. Both Congress and the agencies need to start thinking of how to resolve this problem now. Unless solutions are found, western rangelands and the rural economy will continue to decline.”Join Our Family