A U.S. District judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking new grazing rules for ranchers using federal land for grazing livestock. The Bureau of Land Management – which oversees 262 million acres -- said the new regulations are to make management of public lands more efficient. But environmental groups claim the new rules give ranchers more water rights and control over public lands while cutting the public out of the decision-making process.
In a 19-page ruling, the judge tended to agree with the environmentalists. He said, "The change would appear to substantially affect both the amount and quality of public input."
Tom Gorey, spokesperson for the BLM, said the agency is confident the new grazing regulations will withstand legal challenge.