Missoulian USFS 3-Part Series

Three recent stories in a series by Rob Cheney:

3 thoughts on “Missoulian USFS 3-Part Series”

  1. RE: Perdue seeks to restore trust with ranchers on public land

    Consider this information, most all of which is taken directly from the U.S. Forest Service.

    Livestock grazing is permitted on over 102 million acres of 193 million acres within the National Forest System lands spread across 29 states. That’s 52% of the entire National Forest System permitted for livestock grazing.

    Grazing use is administered through a grazing permit system. The Forest Service administered permits for about 6,250 permittees. The authorized use was for approximately 6.9 million head months (HMs) of authorized grazing by cattle, horses, sheep, and goats. A head month is the amount of time in months that an animal spends on National Forest System lands.

    In 2020, permittees pay $1.35 per month per animal unit month (AUM).

    An AUM or HM—treated as equivalent measures for fee purposes—is the use of public lands by one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.

    The U.S. Forest Service has 36.6 million acres of Wilderness under its purview. Of that, 8 million acres (or about 22% of Wilderness) is allotted for livestock grazing. There are 334,000 AUM’s in Wilderness.

  2. When I was a Ranger there were certain permittees I could trust to follow their allotment plans and to manage their herd. Some of these permittees actually hired graduate Range Mangers. Then there were the others who could never be trusted. They put more cattle on their allotment than permitted. They had no care for the land other than to get as much grass eaten with the least amount of work on their part/

    If Purdue wants to have the Forest restore TRUST then he needs to work on the the Ranching community to do proper range management and get the ranchers to accept proper and scientific range management and not be saying “my daddy grazed twice the number of cows than you are allowing.”

    I sure liked working with those permittees who wanted good range management and wanted their allotments to be in better shape than we they goth them.

  3. David, I have *mostly* very good permittees on my district… and it makes my life so much easier. I’ve rangered on districts with range problems and those folks can be some of the toughest to deal with, especially since the Bundy situation empowered them even more to break the law with little concern for consequences.


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