The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is disheartened to learn of
the upcoming announcement of a presidential declaration defining 21,000
acres along the Arkansas River, known as Browns Canyon as a national
“We worked in good-faith with former Senator Udall and others, to find a
way to prevent a presidential declaration,” says Tim Canterbury, chair
of the Public Lands Council (PLC). “Now, all we can do is ask for a seat
at the table, and hope that the voices of ranchers will be heard and
respected in the designations implementation process.”
After it became clear that a presidential declaration was being pursued,
CCA reached out to Senator Bennet and Governor Hickenlooper, both of
whom agreed to work on ensuring that grazing would continue without
changes or restrictions. CCA understands that the following points are
intended to be part of the declaration, and will be addressed locally
through “maximizing” the state’s engagement in the designation
management agreement. CCA and PLC will work to ensure that following the
points are included and clarified:
Motorized access must continue to be allowed for permit administration, range improvements, and water maintenance.
language must be written into the designation that allows sheep and
cattle producers to trail their livestock to and from federal grazing
allotments through portions of the designated area.
Weeds and weed control must also be addressed in the rules of implementation, particularly in headwaters areas.
must be included in the designation implementation to ensure that
changes in the numbers of authorized livestock are based on facts, and
not the whim of individual land managers.
that would explicitly ensure permits will be transferable to new
permittee/owners in the exact same manner as was the case prior to the
designation of the national monument is also required.
Water rights must be expressly recognized in wilderness acts that further codify states’ water laws.
changes must be applied throughout the BLM and Forest Service so that
administration at all levels carry out, consistently and timely, the
intent of the law without personal deference that subsequently limits or
harms livestock grazing through administrative bias.
“We stand by the fact that a presidential declaration is not in the best
interest of the agricultural community; and we sincerely hope that the
President and his administration have heard our concerns and will ensure
that the rule-making process addresses the concerns of landowners and
ranchers, allowing ranches that have been in operation for generations
to continue,” states Canterbury. He emphasizes that the CCA and PLC will
keep pushing for legislation that will clarify grazing permit rights
for this and any future designation. “We must avoid the confusing
language that exists in many current designations and change the
administrative approach, which in the past has resulted in severely
limiting sustainable resource management.”
Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is
the state’s only nonprofit trade organization exclusively representing
Colorado’s cattle producers. Founded in 1867, CCA is the nation’s
oldest state cattlemen’s association.