The Bureau of Land Management has been renewing livestock grazing permits on public lands in Oregon without a thorough environmental analysis, including on overgrazed land, according to two new reports.
The Western Watersheds Project and the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, both nonprofit environmental advocacy groups, released the reports earlier this month.
In its report, Western Watersheds found that the bureau had repeatedly renewed permits for livestock grazing on public lands in Oregon without undertaking new environmental assessments, a requirement for permit renewal under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.
The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility found that the bureau was allowing grazing on areas that did not meet state land health standards and had been overgrazed. When rangelands are overgrazed, it can create desert conditions on semi-arid rangelands, harming other wildlife and exacerbating drought.