The environmental nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which is involved in the second WWP lawsuit, analyzed decades of BLM data and found that about half of the acreage it oversees that has been assessed fails to meet the agency’s own land health standards (in Nevada, it’s an alarming 83 percent). PEER points to livestock grazing as the primary source of land degradation. However, BLM doesn’t face any real consequences because for years, Congress has passed a rider that requires BLM to renew cattle grazing permits upon their expiration, with or without the required environmental analysis. According to Molvar, it’s a loophole that BLM is exploiting; in 2021, WWP says, more than half of cattle grazing allotments were authorized without the proper environmental review.
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