3. Livestock Grazing
The Lakeview Resource Management Plan will establish where livestock grazing occurs and what tools are available to manage grazing. Currently, 92% of the Lakeview RMP planning area is available for grazing.
What lands are authorized for grazing?
Under the BLM’s multiple-use mandate, grazing is one of many land uses the agency is directed to provide, though it can require certain stipulations on grazing use to protect other public use and public values on public lands.
How is livestock grazing structured on the landscape?
Lands authorized for grazing are broken up into discrete regions called allotments, which are typically further divided into pastures. Each allotment has its own management plan that allocates the number of permitted Animal Unit Months, determines seasons of use and establishes a grazing management system. Resource management plans determine whether allotments are open to grazing and determine the tools available to land managers in administering grazing use on the landscape.
What is an AUM?
An AUM stands for “Animal Unit Month” and is the amount of forage that one cow-calf pair, one horse, or five sheep eat in one month. AUMs are the unit of measure used to determine the number of livestock that are allowed to graze within an allotment. The AUM is also known as the stocking rate.
What grazing management options will the BLM consider during the planning process?
The BLM will consider management alternatives that analyze whether, where, how and in what manner grazing will be permitted on the landscape.
Among other tactics, the BLM may examine management alternatives that support: voluntary grazing permit relinquishment; the identification of areas no longer available for grazing use; and closure of allotments or pastures where land health standards (used to achieve desired ecological conditions) are not being met due to livestock grazing.
The BLM is currently without the authority to permanently retire grazing permits in the planning area to protect sensitive ecological resources and ensure an appropriate balance of multiple uses of our public lands. However, the agency can support certain processes to facilitate administrative voluntary grazing permit relinquishment, particularly in areas where continued grazing threatens wildlife, watersheds and other public values. ONDA supports the agency to establish such a program in its Lakeview plan amendment as a win-win solution for both grazing permittees and our natural resources.