Grazing on public lands isn't free

Grazing on public lands keeps the ecosystem healthy.  Underbrush and other fuels are grazed, reducing the threat of forest fires.  Hoof action churns the soil, stimulating grass seeds, promoting germination, prevents erosion and helps to protect the watershed.

What the public does not understand is that grazing on public lands is not free.

Ranchers must buy the grazing permit.  The price of the permit is calculated by the number of AUM's (Animal Unit Months), plus the value of  improvements, which include fences, water development, clearing trails and roads, etc.  These expenses are not insignificant.  Ranchers also must own private property  in relation to the same AUM's as on the public lands permit. Grazing fees are established by the federal government.  The formula fluctuates with the market price of cattle and ranch operating expenses.   

Public lands grazing is closely monitored by the U.S. Forest Service and BLM professional grazing conservationists, according to the rules and regulations established by those agencies.

Wildlife have co-existed with livestock for more than 100 years, resulting in record numbers.

Public Lands grazing is very important for the production of food needed to feed a growing world population.  We must become educated, with an understanding that we all have to live together.

Jean Brown