November 18, 2008

Cattlemen Ask Senate To Oppose Omnibus Public Land Management Act Of 2008

News Release

Washington, D.C. – R-CALF USA – on the recommendation of its Private Property Rights Committee – sent a formal letter to members of the U.S. Senate to encourage them to oppose the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2008.

“This is a massive land grab bill that could further restrict private property rights of cattle farmers and ranchers – people who care deeply for, and manage, our nation’s natural resources – and we strongly urge the Senate to oppose this piece of legislation,” said R-CALF USA Private Property Rights Committee Co-Chair Ray Cunio. “The federal government already owns more than 650 million acres, much of which is inadequately maintained and poorly managed. Unfortunately, some in Congress seem intent on placing even more land under federal control.”

R-CALF USA believes this particular legislation would subject millions of acres of land to government control and regulation and could prevent U.S. citizens from exercising their right of property ownership and wise multiple use of federal lands. The bill grabs so-called “wilderness areas,” “heritage areas,” and “scenic rivers,” and extends damaging centralized command and control of these lands.

“Specifically, this legislation could infringe on U.S. cattle farmers’ and ranchers’ vested and/or riparian water rights and restrict their constitutional right to keep and own property and make decisions concerning its use,” explained R-CALF USA Private Property Rights Committee Co-Chair Harlan Hentges. “This bill also creates new ‘conservation’ programs that would effectively encumber property rights, and millions of additional acres of land will be controlled by a vast and unaccountable bureaucracy. Ultimately, this bill forces American taxpayers to pay for an unnecessary restriction on the beneficial use of these valuable resources.

“Simply put, this legislation is blatantly contrary to our national principles, needlessly restricts property rights and unnecessarily restricts individual liberty,” he emphasized. “We urge all Senators to protect the citizens of the United States – taxpayers – and vote against the Omnibus Land Management Act of 2008.”

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on trade and marketing issues. Members are located across 47 states and are primarily cow/calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and/or feedlot owners.