BLM and Forest Service announce 2009 Grazing Fee
by Bureau of Land Management
January 31, 2009
The Federal grazing fee for 2009 will be $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM) for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and $1.35 per head month (HM) for lands managed by the Forest Service. The grazing fee for 2009 is the same as it was in 2008.
An AUM or HM – treated as equivalent measures for fee purposes – is the occupancy and use of public lands by one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month. The newly adjusted grazing fee, determined by a congressional formula and effective on March 1, applies to nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the BLM and more than 8,000 permits administered by the Forest Service.
The formula used for calculating the grazing fee, which was established by Congress in the 1978 Public Rangelands Improvement Act, has continued under a presidential Executive Order issued in 1986. Under that order, the grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 per AUM, and any increase or decrease cannot exceed 25 percent of the previous year’s level.
The annually adjusted grazing fee is computed by using a 1966 base value of $1.23 per AUM/HM for livestock grazing on public lands in Western states. The figure is then adjusted according to three factors – current private grazing land lease rates, beef cattle prices, and the cost of livestock production. In effect, the fee rises, falls, or stays the same based on market conditions, with livestock operators paying more when conditions are better and less when conditions have declined.
The $1.35 per AUM/HM grazing fee applies to 16 Western states on public lands administered by the BLM and the Forest Service. The states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The Forest Service applies different grazing fees to national grasslands and to lands under its management in the Eastern and Midwestern states and parts of Texas.
The BLM, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages more land – 256 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western states, including Alaska.
The Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, manages 193 million acres of Federal lands in 44 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
The BLM manages more land – 258 million acres – than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western States, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.