The Obama administration may issue an order that would expand the National Environmental Policy Act’s scope to prevent global warming. The move could open up new avenues to challenge projects.
I review grazing allotment renewal documents and rarely, if ever, have I seen climate change discussed. When it is discussed, and only in response to comments by WWP, the agencies claim that issues related to global warming and livestock grazing are beyond the scope of the project. Unfortunately, grazing compounds the effects of global warming by creating warmer and drier landscapes which, in turn, impacts wildlife.
There is a very good case to be made that eliminating grazing from public lands would also reduce the effects of global warming by 1) reducing desertification and 2) increasing carbon sequestration in soils. As Brian Ertz has illustrated in his post from last year, public lands can be very effective carbon sinks if allowed rest from livestock grazing. This is an important idea that needs to be kept in mind when discussing public lands ranching.
Federal agencies may have to consider climate before they act
By Jim Tankersley – L.A. Times