Managing Multiple Incompatible Uses: Why the Forest Service’s Livestock Grazing Policy Fails to Protect Native American Archeological Sites
2 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2013 Last revised: 15 Feb 2019
Date Written: April 9, 2013
The United States Forest Service’s current approach to natural and cultural resource protection allows livestock grazing on and around archaeological sites throughout the American southwest. The damage caused by thousands of cattle moving through these sites each year is irreparable and will continue unless the Forest Service changes its approach to resource management or Congress amends the statutes that have allowed these incompatible dual uses to occur coextensively. This Paper will explain the historical evolution of the Forest Service’s approach to natural and cultural resource management, the statutory bases guiding its current planning practices, and ultimately, it will explain how the Forest Service’s current land management planning practices erroneously assume that livestock grazing, per se, does not adversely impact native archaeological sites. Finally, this Paper will offer suggestions by which Congress or the Forest Service could amend the current livestock grazing program on national forest lands to better protect archaeological sites.
Keywords: National Forest Management Act, livestock grazing, public lands, National Historic Preservation Act, Antiquities Act, natural resources
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