Permit thrown out absent environmental analysis

December 20, 2019

A federal judge has overturned the Trump administration’s renewal of Hammond Ranches’ livestock grazing permit. The ruling throws out the permit on four allotments until the U.S. Bureau of Land Management does a proper environmental analysis.

The BLM revoked the Hammonds’ grazing privileges in 2014 after Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted of arson on federal lands in 2012. The Hammonds were also accused of setting other fires and making death threats against federal officials. But in January 2019, on his last day in office, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke renewed their permit. BLM grazing regulations require that permittees have a “satisfactory record of performance”—clearly not the case here.

This ruling confirms that federal grazing permits are a privilege, not a right. Now, future grazing is suspended on these allotments until the BLM can comply with federal law—good news for the sage grouse and other native species that live there.

Read the press release.

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