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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Grazing Fees: Overview and Issues

Carol Hardy Vincent
Specialist in Natural Resources Policy

Charging fees for grazing private livestock on federal lands is a long-standing but contentious practice. Generally, livestock producers who use federal lands want to keep fees low, while conservation groups and others believe fees should be increased. The formula for determining the grazing fee for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service uses a base value adjusted annually by the lease rates for grazing on private lands, beef cattle prices, and the cost of livestock production. Currently, the BLM and FS are charging a grazing fee of $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM). For fee purposes, an AUM is defined as a month’s use and occupancy of the range by one animal unit. The fee is in effect through February 29, 2012. The collected fees are divided among the Treasury, states, and federal agencies. Fee reform was attempted but not adopted in the 1990s. Issues for the 112th Congress include instances of grazing without paying fees and efforts to retire certain grazing permits.

Date of Report: February 22, 2011
Number of Pages: 10
Order Number: RS21232
Price: $29.95

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