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Utah lawmakers discuss issues regarding grazing, public lands

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jun 18, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY – In the wake of the showdown between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and officials with the Bureau of Land Management, Utah lawmakers are making sure they know all of the facts when it comes to grazing rights in the state.

Members of the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Interim Committee listened to those involved with grazing in Utah Wednesday.

According to the Utah Farm Bureau, grazing has decreased by two-thirds since the ‘40s and U.S. beef herds are at an all-time low.

Juan Palma, State Director for the BLM, said it’s a challenge to find balance.

“The land can only withstand so much grazing of any kind, whether it’s wildlife, whether it's sheep or cattle, and so today we are working hard to figure out what that proper balance is,” Palma said.

Lawmakers also asked the panel about federal law enforcement on public lands. FOX 13 News’ Tamara Vaifanua has more on this story, see the video above for her report.