In a recent opinion piece, Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning claims her agency has a renewed focus on land health. However, she fails to make even a single mention of the most pervasive land-health problem the agency faces: livestock-caused ecological destruction across broad swaths of the western United States.
The Bureau’s land-health problems are well-known. A 2022 analysis by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility shows that the agency is far behind in completing legally-required land-health assessments over the past two decades. We see that of the lands that BLM has assessed, 50 percent are failing to meet even the minimum standards of rangeland health. BLM says that millions of acres do not meet their land health standards and that livestock grazing use is the leading cause. Livestock are responsible for 72% of degraded conditions on the public lands that BLM has thus far evaluated.