Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

National Wildlife Fed'n v. Schaefer

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20186
Nos. No. CV08-1004-JCC, (W.D. Wash., 07/24/2008)

A district court issued a preliminary injunction limiting the amount of cattle grazing allowed on conservation reserve program (CRP) lands. In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began a critical feed use haying and grazing program on CRP lands to deal with rising feed prices. But in so doing, the USDA violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it decided that the critical feed use initiative would have no significant adverse environmental consequences and, accordingly, that an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement was not necessary. Farmers and ranchers who have already been enrolled in the program may continue, with certain limitations, to graze their cattle on CRP lands. Similarly, the USDA may proceed to process and, where appropriate, approve, the remaining applications that were filed by CRP participants prior to the issuance of a July 8 temporary restraining order. But no additional applications may be accepted unless applicants are able to prove they’ve invested at least $4,500 toward haying or grazing prior to July 8. Potential new applicants must also provide a declaration of their reliance on haying or grazing CRP lands.