This report discusses controversial issues regarding the creation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. Issues include the President's use of the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create the Monument; the Monument's general effect on land uses; the implications for development of minerals and school trust lands; and the bearing on the designation of wilderness.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM, Department of the Interior) and the Forest Service (Department of Agriculture) manage approximately 70% of the 650 million acres of land owned by the federal government and many of these lands are classified as rangeland. Both agencies have well-established programs permitting private livestock grazing. The Administration issued new, controversial BLM rangeland management rules effective in August 1995. Supporters contended that the Administration's new rules were a step forward in sound resource management, but some believed they did not go far enough to protect rangelands and riparian areas. Many in the ranching community opposed the new rules, believing that they would ultimately reduce private livestock activity on federal lands, and increase operating costs. This report examines the debate over federal grazing management.
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