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ASSOCIATION OF NATIONAL GRASSLANDS, INC. at thy 1 104 Sings SD STP. PONE: 5) 745-278 April2, 2014 Via e-mallto: chanceyodell@tsfed us Cchancey Oéel! Wall Ranger District PO 80x 425 ‘all SO 57790 Re: Cheyenne River Allotment Management Plan Dear Chancey: Please find the following formsl comments ofthe Assocation of National Graslands concerning the Cheyenne River Allotment Management lan. The comments recommend proposed alternatives for formal consideration |. Purpose and Need Proposal to Eliminate Livestock Grazing ‘The Cheyenne River RAMP scoping letter of March 4, 2015, states inthe Purpose and Need section thatthe “purpose ofthe project also includes determining i vestock grazing wil ontine to be authorized" ANG believes that this statement is not consistent with Title il ofthe Bankhead Jones Farm Tenant Act (7 USC 1010, and therefore, should not be considered as part ofthe National Environmental Policy Act planning proces Under ite funds re authorized for he purchase by the Government of sulbmarginl land, This would be a continuation ofthe present program and in any States aeitonal purchases are necessary to black together the purchases already made. The oblectve tors this submarina land fom forest areas. n purchasing this land the Government wil have something to show fr the money spent. I wil ep to relieve crop surpluses, especial in wheat, sine in good years this submarina land helps to swell the price- epresion surplus. Twenty-five percent a he net revenue received by the ‘Secretary from the se ofthe land wil be pa othe respective counties for School and road purposes. This isquite essential inasmuch as great deal ofthe taxable property in Some counties hasbeen or wile purchased bythe Government under ths program. Congressional Record, June 28, 1937, at page 6471 (Excerpt of the Speech of Nebraska Congressman Coffee during the debate ofthe Bonkhead-Jones Form Tenant Act). ‘The legislative intent was to produce revenue from the economic use of grazing onthe land. ‘The consideration ofan alternative tat eliminates grazing from these administrative units would not be consistent with the letter and spin of the Act Further evidence thatthe Forest Serle should not consider the elimination of Inestock grazing includes the purposes forthe acquisition of the properties in question. On February 26, 193, Congress ‘enacted the Declaration of Taklngs Act, which required the Federal Agencies to ile a Declaration of Taking with 2 Federal Court in any condemnation action initiated by the Federal Government to take private property. (46 Stat. 1421} The folowing I the pertinent except ofthe statute. Said decaration of taking shall contain or have annexed thereto— (2) Astatement ofthe authority under which and the public use for which sald lands are taken, Sucha Declaration of Taking was fled inthe United tates District Court of South Dakota by the United states Department of Agriulture In the Mater of 2,200 acres of land, n Pennington and Fall River Counties, tot of South Dakota for use in Connection withthe Bod Lands-Fal River Proect. (29, \W.0)) The Acting Secretary of Agriculture, Harry L. rown, signed the Declaration of Taking forthe 2,200 acresof land at Washington, 0.C.on May 13, 1939. The signed Declaration of Taking stated in pertinent pat “That pursuant to and by vite of sid authority, | have duly selected for acquisition by the United States the lands hereinafter described, for use in ‘connection with sai projec, in furtherance ofthe objects aforesaid, and that the sald lands are necessary in my opinion to establish a demonstrational area {forthe public grazing of ivstock, including the development of water ‘resources, the prevention of soll erosion, and the control of destructive animal Ite ‘Additional evidence ofthe promises made by the USDA to entice sale ofthe lands In question to the Federal government, incuded the November 5, 1934, letter to Mr. Bartlett Bales of Folsom, South Dakota, which s attached hereto as Exhibit A and incorporated herein by this reference. On page four ‘of Exhibit, the fst statement to ure agjacent landowners to give up "all or part of their land” is: ‘The land that i purchased will be organized into grazing districts tobe used by local stockmen. The number of stock which wil be allowed on the range will be limite so thatthe pasture will not be overgrazed. “Therefore, even the consideration ofthe elimination of ivestock grating i in dcect ‘contravention ofthe purpose fo which Congress acquired the National Grasslands and the methods the USDA used to induce the acquisitions. Many local stockmen sold “part of thelr land” believing in the statements oftheir own government that [the land purchased wil be organized into grazing districts tobe used by the local stackmen.” ANG believes that is essential not to forget the real purpose and ‘the promises made in order to create the National Grassiands. Like ts citizens, even Federal Agencies should strive to maintain esteem and honor in fling obligations. Consideration of an ateratve that completely eliminates livestock grazing from thousands of acres doesnot achieve the obligations ofthe USDA, the Bankhead-lones Farm Tenant Actor NEPA, 1. Proposed alternative One: ANG proposes for consideration as an alternative the following: ‘A. Elimination ofthe Wilderness Designation forthe purposes of developing aditional water sources throughout te allotments that will enable better distribution of ivestock within the allotments In order to reduce pressure on the rparan areas. Elimination ofthe Wilderness Designation wil also allow greater mechanisms for management ofthe range health by fully engaging na NEPA evaluation In ‘order to establish optimal numerical gals forthe control and management ofthe prairie dog population in each allotment to increase vegetation structure. A goal would be to establish a pralre dog carrying capacity for each allotment and manage the population to achieve the desied range condition. ML Proposed Alternative Two: ANG proposes for consideration as an alternative the Following A. Permissible water development both in and out ofthe area designated for Wilderness inorder ‘to improve the distribution of ivestock within the allotments, and thereby, reducing pressure on the riparian areaz. Conduct full NEPA analysis during the RAMP planning process designed to improve the range and vegetation condition consistent with the LRMP by establishing numerical goals forthe control and management ofthe praise dog population in each alltment by identifying @paiie dog population carrying eapacty fr each alten |v. Coordination with state and Local Gavernments and permittees ‘The South Dakota Commissioner af School and Public Lands manages state lands within and ‘adjacent to the allotments in question. ANG respectfully request thatthe Forest Service fly comply with 36 CFR. 219.7 by engaging nfl coordination withthe South Dakota Commissioner of School and Poblc Lands consistent with California Resources Agency v. USDA, 2009 Wl. 6005102. "Meaningful Analysis and Comment The Cheyenne River RAMP Scoping Letter of March 4, 2035, states that “[t]his action is needed because existing conditions are not meeting LRMP direction fr desired diversity of vegetation structure and vegetation composition.” ANG would have liked to have speci information about the areas where the LRMP direction are not being met in order to make meaningful comment and proposals for alternatives tobe included inthe NEPA process; however, the above-outned alternatives, if property analyzed, should allow for meaningful evaluation and future decsion making that remedies any potential range condition problems. “(Public seratny() essential." 40 CR, 1500.1(8). “The Service is tasked to ‘encourage and facltate public involvement in decisions; id. at 1500.14), 50 that ‘environmental information I availabe to public officials and citizens before decisions are made’ Id. 1500.1(b).” Klamath Siskiyou ‘willands Center v, Bureav of Land Management, 387 F-34989, 996, ‘The Alternative “section isthe heart of the environmental impact statement.” AO CER. 1502.14, The NEPA process must "rigorously explore and objectively evaluate all reasonable atternatives, and for alternatives which were eliminated from detailed study briefly discuss the reasons {for their having been eliminated.” 40 CFR. 1502.14(). "This court recognizes the broad scope of an ‘agency's duty to study all reasonable alternatives. Appearing twice inthe text of NEPA the duty is more pervasive than the duty to prepare an EI.” Gob Marshall Alliance v, Watt 685 F.Supp. 1514, 3521-22 (0. Mont. 1986) ANG respectfully requests thatthe Altematives outlined and suggested above be included and Incorporated into the NEPA analysis Vi. Uvestoek Branding Livestock branding is required by the Forest Service Handbook fora number of reasons. ANG supports the livestock branding requirements placed on permit holders and respectfully request thet the Forest Service adhere to these regulation inthe preparation ofthe Cheyenne iver RAMP and all future management fr the protection ofthe permittees, the pubic and the USDA, ‘concwusion ‘Thank you for the March 4, 2015 letter notification, and subsequent telephone calls, e-mails and facetoface meetings catifing many of our questions. We appreciate the opportunity to comment and ‘suggest alternatives, and would very much appreciate any addtional opportunities to participate inthe NEPA planing process. Ifyou desire any atonal information, please do nat hesitate to contact us at your convenience. We look forward to further participation and dlcuzzion af the alternatives we have onto cea mee sme dh lle Fes ‘Mark Tubbs, President Association of National Grasslands ne 605-890-7633 mtubbe@gwtc net NITED STAT25 DSPARNGNT OF AORICULTURE. AGRICULTURAL ADTUSTVENT ABUNISTRATION Federsi Building Rapid Gity, South Dakota 5g ie, Dartyett Bates Polson, & oe Tract Woe Dear Sirs Wo have been given definite orders to submit the submarginal anna project ix Jackern ond Ponningten Counties to Washington by Novenber 1th, If we 4 net have opticns te cover tho territory foirly completely, St af course will not be approved and n> purchases will he mode. Wo are thorefore giving this opportunity to those who might eti1) want to option all or a port of their lend. We had hoped to conp toot each resident lend omer personally ond talk it over with him, but time ia 20 short that that is {npossible, Consequently we ere forced to send you this letter stating cur position and requesting that if you Fish to soll you sign and return the enclcsed Offers to Boll irmedtetely. Tr oll of your lend te not described, please let us know and we will send ‘the rect imodiately. If Lt is conventent fer you to coll at the office, we Reuld greatly epprectete your doing 2. Should you wish to contact our field mien defcre deciding, kindly let us know by return mil, ce he will be in yous Soritory aox® wok. Bnelvsed is, besides the Céfer to Sell, a set of questions and onewers which cover many of the quastions eomonly asked. ‘me Stato Rehobilitetion Corpzetion is getting well under wey nd tor these whe ave interested in 9 Teasttlanent prepouttion, Wo hove Joncble eesurance that a repa@eentative of that corpirntion will be iene to this office in the very noar future. Indieutinns are that {thous hs sell mey ronein on thoir places thia winter end probebly until tho Rohebilitetion Cerpuretion 4e able t» settle then elsevhere. Vory truly Chcwr Nn ot taser Tomatad, Project Manrgot a Paley Santien, Division of Progrm Planning mel. ae 2906 ae OFFER TO SELL LANDS TO THE UNITED STATES jartlett Beles Folsos, 8. Dake, * Dated ‘To ens in tho program of the United States to conserve naturel resources end to rehabilitate poople living on eubmarginl lands, the undersigned owners of tho following-described lands: Lab's & 5.0f S6s.5. 50. & SURGE OF Sec 2, BNE. 6 HNEE eecaees MMEAME of Sec. 11,.NERNEE.of Sec, 10).2....85 Re 11 B, _--Panntngton. County. hereby offer to sll and convey tothe United States of America th tad lands in foe simplo with all buildings tnd improvements thereon, ‘This offers for acceptance by the United States through the Federal Emergency ‘Relief Administrator or by any other representative of tho United States ‘consideration of the examination and appruial by the United States Goverament of the lande herein serie td other good and valuable considerations which are heraby aclmowledged as received, che und signed grant tothe United Star of America th option and right to purchase said lands, including improve- rents, st the rae of $.2:90._ per are estimated to contain 7h. acres; however, tho exact soreage i to be determined by Government survey either upon the ground or from existing data. ‘The undersigned agree that the procedure and terms shal be as required by th United States Attorey General, “The convazanoe ie to be by warranty deod in the form, manner, and at the tine desired by the ‘Attomey General; paynuent is to be made after the deed has bean recorded wad altar the AUloruey General inca declared tho fille to bo vested in the United Staten; ll tare, lens, and encumbrances are to be paid by the undersigned, including expense incidental torthe execution of the deed, and the undersigned wil obtain ‘and reooed such evidance of ttle as may be requested by the Attornay Gener ‘To accap this ofer the United States must, within six (6) months from today, mal notice of acceptance to. — - — in the city of ———. - ny Stata of — been tnd the undevcigned will thea sonvey theo lands to the United Stave within thisty @O) deye afar they aro faked to do 20 eis understood and agreed that if the Attomey General determines that th tito should be acquired by the United States by judicial procedure either to procure a safe tile orto obtain ile more quickly r for ‘any other reason, then the compensation to be claimed by the owners and the award torbe made for said lands in said proceedings shall bo upon the bass of the purchase price herein provided, [No member of or delagete to Congres shall bo admited to any share or pet in this oer or option, nor to any banat to esse thereupon, ‘Werwnsens: Sioxzs: 1 3. 5 6 % i‘ a a e a @ a Ae a Ae fe SUR ANGIAL LAD Fa0uEAe questions comnonly asked and their answers nat does the covermunt intend to do with this land if it 48 varehased? ‘the land that is purchased will be organized into crazing districts to be sees ee yecal atoomen. tho mumber of stock whieh vill be alowed on th see Uiti’se Limited so that tho pasture will not be ororsrazed. Ie the price at which the goverment te appraising this land a fair price? ‘oon the land ts used for the purpose for which st fo best fitted, the best wetiastge ebtainasle. show that the governcent appraisal is fore than a Sesldont wecr of the land could afford to pay Wi21 an individual be forcod to 50127 Nos ‘this program is purely voluntary and no one wilt bo foresd to sell against hts will. a thore any thing to be gaincd by an individual withholding for a tine Ais Nogzer to Soll" Goncrally spoaking, more harm than good will como from ‘such action because Seer sizes the waoie project. Mo adjustmonts in price sre contemplates nteee an orror hae boon mado in the appraisal Will Administrator's and tax docds bo accepted? our latest information is to the effect that they will bo accepted, ‘can tho book taxos and tho nortgage be yaid from tho procoods of the salo? ‘According to our snfomation this will be taken care of from the proceeds Acg?Faymmt will bo nado directly to tho ounty and the mortgage holder. hat is tho statue of a laniomer vhoto ond is mortgaged for sare than ‘tho appraisal? rt wit bo nocossary to obtain a voduotion in the mortgigo from tho mort= Tees nedtor to tho Level of tho aypraisal before the govermmont wil] oon See OM eg ditlos Forme for tho mortexgo holder to sign may bo had fram tte office. why vill tho mortgage holder Gonsont to such a roduction? proquontly 1% pomits him to rocover a portion of an invostnent and provents T'ggeater loss than he might othermiso stand. hat tndxoonont docs tho Landowner havo to make such a transetion? ‘mo individual in many oasos fae a possible oxportimity to receive asetat~ neo fren tho govormont im rehabilitating hinself. FAIL payment be nade in cash or bonde? car latest information 1s that payment will be mado in cash