Hoeven Working to Meet Ranchers' Needs, Ensure Multiple Use in National Grasslands

Senator Highlights $750 Million in Taxpayer Savings Due to Grazing

WASHINGTON – At a hearing of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee last week, Senator John Hoeven pressed officials from the U.S. Department of the Interior to continue collaborating with ranchers and preserve access for multiple use on the national grasslands and other public lands. Hoeven drove home the tremendous value that grazing generates for taxpayers and local economies. According to the Public Lands Council, grazing activities on federal lands are estimated to save taxpayers approximately $750 million per year due to the ranchers’ work to maintain the land, including controlling invasive species, preventing wildfires and participating in conservation efforts, among other things.

“It is a great benefit to the country to have our grazers on the national grasslands,” Hoeven said. “Our ranchers have been working these lands for generations, not only contributing to their communities and local economies, but also providing great value to taxpayers by helping to maintain our public lands and ensure good environmental stewardship. We continue our efforts to ensure federal policy reflects these contributions and supports the work of our ranchers.”

Hoeven stressed the success of state and local efforts in balancing these multiple land use needs, including grazing, energy production and recreation, while achieving conservation goals. Hoeven pointed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) decision last year to not list the greater sage grouse as endangered and highlighted the vital role of the states’ plans to manage the species’ habitat.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to support the collaboration between FWS and states, delaying the listing of the greater sage grouse and giving them enough time to develop workable management plans. Hoeven has also hosted Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell in North Dakota on multiple occasions, where he pressed the chief to support the state’s Sage Grouse Management Plan and ensure ranchers’ concerns are addressed as further management practice decisions are made.