Press Releases

Just days after Congressman Adam Smith reintroduced the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA), the legislation has received broad support from several organizations and has been cosponsored by 8 members of Congress.  Below are statements of support for REVA.

Mike Hudak, Leader, Sierra Club Grazing Team
"Wolves and Sage-grouse have a friend in Congressman Smith for his introduction of the Rural Economic Vitalization Act. Their lives would greatly benefit from its enactment."

Great Old Broads for Wilderness
“Public lands grazing often is in conflict with other uses and values of our public lands. The Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA) is a common sense bill that provides a simple win-win-win solution for ranchers, the American taxpayers, and the environment. Especially in these fiscally challenging times, any federal action that can painlessly save dollars deserves Congresses support.”

Representative Raul Grijalva
"Grazing is an important use of our public lands, but it's a very impactful use. Excessive grazing impacts wildlife habitat, soil composition, local hydrology, and even heightens the impacts of climate change. Retiring some permits will help save taxpayer money and benefit federal conservation efforts. Right now, when we are looking for ways to save taxpayer money, REVA is a win-win. Ranchers that want to retire their permits should have that opportunity."

Wolf Conservation Center
“The Wolf Conservation Center extends enormous thanks to Rep Adam Smith for reintroducing the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA) - a bill that benefits the livestock community, environmentalists, and taxpayers.  Thanks to Rep. Smith, we have hope that REVA will make our efforts to ensure our public lands are safe for our wildlife, a reality.”

National Wolfwatcher Coalition

"On behalf of our 300,000+ supporters, we extend our thanks to Rep. Smith for reintroducing the Rural Environmental Vitalization Act.  This legislation opens up a new opportunity for all stakeholders to come together and utilize an innovative, free-market tool to resolve natural resource conflicts. This is a win-win-win for ranchers, the environment, and taxpayers. Let’s pass this bill so that we can finally take some common sense steps to ensure healthy public lands."

George Nickas, Executive Director of Wilderness Watch
"Many thanks to Congressman Smith for introducing this forward-looking legislation.  It is one of the more important, positive pieces of public lands legislation introduced in many years.  Even some of our nation's designated Wildernesses are suffering serious harm due to inappropriate livestock grazing. This bill offers the best opportunity we currently have to address this problem.  We look forward to working with Congressman Smith and his staff toward its passage."

Andy Stahl, Executive Director of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (FSEEE)
“This bill is a practical, cost-effective response to persistent environmental and economic problems on our nation’s rangelands.  Congressman Smith’s pragmatic leadership and commitment to resolving these issues is very welcome.”

The Cloud Foundation
“Allowing ranchers to voluntarily relinquish grazing permits opens the possibility for rangeland restoration which represents progress toward more environmentally and economically sound management of the Public Lands. Further, we fully support honest and balanced science-based decisions regarding the allocation of  resources between the remaining stakeholder groups, but particularly to wild horses and other wildlife which are native to this land. By opening these lands to broader based interests, small rural western communities stand to benefit from an enhanced economic picture, and taxpayers benefit from reduced tax burdens and restored public lands.”

The Wildlife Society. Arizona Chapter
“The Arizona Chapter of The Wildlife Society endorses H.R. 2201, the Rural Economic Vitalization Act to allow ranchers with grazing permits to voluntarily relinquish and retire their grazing permits.  Our Chapter is a proponent of sound management practices on public land and realizes that ongoing drought and economics of ranching are having a deleterious effect on range conditions, wildlife populations, and American taxpayers.  By using the buyout option, impacts from overgrazing on our public lands can be resolved and these improved range conditions will allow our wildlife populations to increase and become more viable due to increased forage and availability of hiding cover.  This change in policy will be a welcome transformation of public land management for both consumptive and non-consumptive users of wildlife on public lands.”

Facebook Page
There was a Facebook page made in support of REVA.

On May 23, 2013, Congressman Adam Smith reintroduced the Rural Economic Vitalization Act, a bill that would address the wasteful, environmentally damaging, and economically inefficient federal grazing policy on our public lands.. By allowing ranchers with grazing permits to voluntarily relinquish their permits, this legislation saves the American taxpayer money, gives public lands the chance to rebuild their natural habitats, and provides ranchers with more financial opportunities.  


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House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, Congressman Adam Smith, made the following statement in response to Ambassador Rice’s appointment as National Security Adviser:

“Susan Rice has the right combination of strategic vision and credentials to serve as a National Security Adviser. She is the clear choice to replace Tom Donilon. Ambassador Rice is a seasoned and skillful diplomat with a deep understanding of the national security challenges we face. Having served in senior positions at the United Nations, the State Department and the National Security Council, and as a member of the President’s Cabinet, Rice brings more than two decades of national security and foreign policy experience.

“From Iran and North Korea, to our challenges in the Middle East and across northern and western Africa, our country faces a wide of range national security challenges. Confronting those challenges requires strong leadership and experience. In the months and years ahead, Susan’s voice and strong record on these issues will be vital as we continue to confront security challenges around the world.

“It goes without saying that Tom Donilon has served with distinction, and he has been a tremendous asset to the President’s national security team. I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), made the following statement today in celebration of LGBT Pride Month, which is celebrated during the month of June:

“This year, we commemorate LGBT Pride Month at a critical time when lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans have made incredible progress in the fight for marriage equality, protection of bullied teens, serving in the Armed Forces openly and honestly, and the prosecution of bias-based crimes.  This June we should celebrate this progress and how the LGBT community adds to the rich diversity of our country, but we should also recognize that there is a lot of work that remains to be done to ensure that all LGBT Americans are equal under the law.  Millions of LGBT people can still be denied work simply based on who they are and the federal government still cannot recognize marriages for same-sex couples.  No one should be denied equal rights because of who they love, and I will continue to do all I can in Congress to make sure this equality becomes a reality.”

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Congressman Adam Smith has reintroduced legislation that would address the wasteful, environmentally damaging, and economically inefficient federal grazing policy on our public lands.  H.R. 2201, the Rural Economic Vitalization Act, would change federal law to allow ranchers with grazing permits to voluntarily relinquish their permits to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service in exchange for private market compensation.  It would further allow the BLM and U.S. Forest Service to permanently retire the grazing permit.  

“The current federal grazing program is among the most economically inefficient uses of our public lands,” said Congressman Smith.  “This legislation opens the door for private solutions to a long-standing problem that costs taxpayers millions and has prevented public land ranchers from efficiently utilizing resources available to them.”

Current law does not allow for the retirement of grazing permits.  This not only is to the detriment of wildlife, watersheds, and the surrounding ecosystem, which continue to be harmed by domestic livestock grazing, but also to federal taxpayer dollars wastefully spent to continue an antiquated grazing policy  on public lands.  

“Grazing is an important use of our public lands, but it's a very impactful use", said Rep. Raul Grijalva, who joined Congressman Smith in introducing the legislation. "Excessive grazing impacts wildlife habitat, soil composition, local hydrology, and even heightens the impacts of climate change. Retiring some permits will help save taxpayer money and benefit federal conservation efforts. Right now, when we are looking for ways to save taxpayer money, REVA is a win-win. Ranchers that want to retire their permits should have that opportunity."

“Many permit holders would choose to retire their grazing permit if they could recoup their investment from private funds,” Smith said.  “By providing federal grazing permit holders the freedom to exchange permits for market value compensation, this legislation would spur private investment, provide ranchers with the opportunity to pursue new business ventures or retire with more security, and protect public lands from the damaging environmental effects of livestock grazing.”

In addition to the environmental damage, the federal grazing program is heavily subsidized and costs American taxpayers over $115 million a year.  The Government Accountability Office reported that the BLM and Forest Service spend over $132 million a year on managing the grazing lands, yet they only collect $17 million a year in fees.  

“At a time when the federal government is looking for ways to cut outdated programs and become more efficient, this bill eliminates wasteful spending and saves taxpayer dollars,” continued Smith.  “This legislation is a win for all involved.  The American taxpayer saves money, ranchers have a choice to retire their permits for market compensation, and public lands are given the opportunity to rebuild their natural habitats, native plants, and wildlife.”

For more information, view the Rural Economic Vitalization Act fact sheet.  

Congressman Smith released the following statement in recognition of Memorial Day:

“On Memorial Day, we honor the men, women, and families of the United States military who every day protect our nation.  Whether it be emergency relief, security efforts, or development operations across the world, our servicemembers are always courageous, professional, and committed to represent this country in the best way possible.  Memorial Day offers us the opportunity to honor the memory of those who have fallen and extend our thanks to all members of our Armed Services who help keep our country free and prosperous.

“It is absolutely critical that the government and the Congress remain committed to members of the Armed Forces while they serve and when they come home.  We need to make sure returning veterans are given the opportunities and guidance to translate their skills to civilian jobs and businesses.  We also need to continue to work to reduce the thousands of backlogged VA claims and ensure that every veteran receives the support and care they need and were promised.

“As we honor and thank the men and women of our Armed Forces, both past and present, let us show our gratitude by continuing to work to make sure all active duty military and veterans receive the support and services that they deserve.”

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