Franklin D. Roosevelt

Statement on Signing Bill for Regulation of Grazing on Public Lands.

June 28, 1934

The passage of this Act marks the culmination of years of effort to obtain from Congress express authority for Federal regulation of grazing on the public domain in the interests of national conservation and of the livestock industry.

It authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to provide for the protection, orderly use, and regulation of the public ranges, and to create grazing districts with an aggregate area of not more than 80 million acres. It confers broad powers on the Secretary of the Interior to do all things necessary for the preservation of these ranges, including, amongst other powers, the right to specify from time to time the number of livestock which may graze within such districts and the seasons when they shall be permitted to do so. The authority to exercise these powers is carefully safeguarded against impairment by State or local action. Creation of a grazing district by the Secretary of the Interior and promulgation of rules and regulations respecting it will supersede State regulation of grazing on that part of the public domain included within such district.

Water development, soil erosion work, and the general improvement of such lands are provided for in the act.

Local residents, settlers, and owners of land and water who have been using the public range in the past are given a preference by the terms of the Act to the use of lands within such districts when placed under Federal regulation so long as they comply with the rules and regulations of the Secretary of the Interior. The Act permits private persons owning lands within a district to make exchanges for Federally owned land outside a grazing district if and when the Secretary of the Interior finds it to be in the best public interests.

The Federal Government, by enacting this law, has taken a great forward step in the interests of conservation, which will prove of benefit not only to those engaged in the livestock industry, but also to the Nation as a whole.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Statement on Signing Bill for Regulation of Grazing on Public Lands. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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