A variety of provisions passed by the Senate during the FY 2016 budget talks last week could be good news for beef producers, Executive Director of the Public Lands Council Dustin Van Liew said in a National Cattlemen's Beef Association audio report on Monday.
Van Liew said some of the specific provisions passed include:
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.: Amendment passed to protect privately held water rights and permits against federal takeover.
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.: Amendment passed to create a deficit neutral reserve fund to eliminate the federal estate tax.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska: Amendment passed to facilitate state and local land exchanges.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.: Amendment to limits the Environmental Protection Agency from adopting an the new definition of “Waters of the United States.”
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.: Amendment that sets the stage for passing the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, which ends underfunding of fire suppression and "fire borrowing" by funding the largest wildfires from a similar disaster account used to fund other natural disasters.
"Now that both chambers have passed their budget resolutions for FY 2016, they will go into a process called reconciliation and ultimately hopefully pass an agreement," Van Liew said. "That just paves the way for these provisions that we saw passed."
Van Liew said other legislative priorities for the PLC will be keeping a close eye on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service on implementing the Grazing Improvement Act, passed last year.
Van Liew said the group also will be looking at the Endangered Species Act as it impacts ranchers across the U.S.