Hoeven Presses Forest Service Chief to Address North Dakota Concerns With Update to Grasslands Management Plan

Senator Urges Chief to Meet with Local Ranchers and Scientists Before Issuing Final Update

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week called on U.S. Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell to address the concerns of North Dakota ranchers before issuing a final environmental assessment updating the management plan for the Dakota Prairie Grasslands. At an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, Hoeven raised concerns over the Forest Service’s recent draft update and urged the Forest Service Chief to come to North Dakota and meet with local ranchers and scientists before issuing the final plan, which would impact grazing allotments for North Dakotans.

“Our ranchers are good stewards of the land and have been for generations,” said Hoeven. “They have a tremendous stake in keeping the grasslands healthy, as their livelihoods depend on it. The Forest Service needs to incorporate the input of our local ranchers and take into account grasslands research before issuing a final plan.”

Hoeven also pressed Tidwell to rely on the best science available when issuing the final update. The draft environmental assessment for more than 62,000 acres in McKenzie County and 22 grazing allotments was issued in January.