FOREST SERVICE: GOP Cheers as Chief Formally Withdraws Groundwater Rule

Phil Taylor, E&E reporter

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell today formally withdrew a proposal to more carefully gauge how the agency’s land management decisions affect groundwater.

The agency’s groundwater directive, unveiled in Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualMay 2014, had sparked a torrent of criticism from Republicans and Western governors who argued it could usurp states’ authority to allocate water.

The Forest Service’s notice of withdrawal in today’s Federal Register acknowledges those concerns but Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian Viewcalls them unfounded. While the proposal was received favorably by tribes and conservation groups, the agency “must have further discussions” with other stakeholders before moving forward with the proposal, it said.

Combat Shooter's HandbookReconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps InstituteThe Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits“The proposed directives did not, and any future actions will not, infringe on state authority, impose requirements on private landowners or change the long-standing relationship between the Forest Service, states, and tribes on water,” the notice reads. “The intent of any new groundwater proposed directive or next steps would be to establish a clearer and more consistent approach to evaluating and monitoring the effects of actions on groundwater resources of the National Forest System.”

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) The move drew praise from House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), whose panel discussed the rule at a hearing in April with the Forest Service’s Leslie Weldon, deputy chief of the national forest system.

“Finally, after more than a year, states and private water rights holders can have some peace of mind in knowing this policy is now officially off the table,” Bishop said in a statement this afternoon. “From the outset the Forest Service failed to identify any practical or legal basis for this directive.”

Tidwell had announced in February that the directive had been placed on hold pending further discussions with Western stakeholders, but Bishop and five other leading Republicans in March asked that he permanently withdraw it (E&E Daily, March 13).

The withdrawal comes a day after a Senate Energy and Natural Resources panel held a hearing to discuss a GOP bill to combat what critics describe as “federal water grabs” in the West including the groundwater directive (E&E Daily, June 19).

The directive would have required the Forest Service to better account for how surface uses such as wells and mines would affect groundwater and groundwater-dependent ecosystems. If potential harm were discovered, the agency would work with forest users to mitigate those impacts.

Dozens of conservation groups rallied behind the directive, saying in comments submitted to the Forest Service that it provides long-overdue recognition of the interconnectedness of groundwater and surface water, and the need to better track how groundwater withdrawals affect ecosystems and downstream users.

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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