On Thursday, the 2006 federal grazing fee for western public lands was announced and is set at $1.56 per animal unit month (AUM), down from $1.79 in 2005. The newly adjusted fee, determined by a congressional formula and effective on March 1, applies to more than 8,000 permits administered by the Forest Service (FS) and nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
An AUM is the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.
The $1.56 per AUM grazing fee applies to 16 Western states on public lands administered by the FS and BLM. The states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
The FS applies different grazing fees to national grasslands and to lands under its management in the Eastern and Midwestern states and parts of Texas. The national grassland fee will be $1.73 per AUM, down from $1.90 in 2005, and will also take effect March 1. The fee for the Eastern and Midwestern states and parts of Texas will be out later this month.
The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of federal lands in 44 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The BLM manages 261 million surface acres and most of this public land is located in 12 Western states, including Alaska.