February 8, 2008
February 8, 2008 - The federal grazing fee for Western public lands managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service (FS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM) in 2008, the same level as it was in 2007. The 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 FS.
Under a presidential executive 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. 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 $1.35 per AUM grazing fee applies to 16 Western states on public lands administered by the BLM and the FS. 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 $1.35 per AUM, down from $1.37 in 2007, and will also take effect March 1. The fee for the Eastern and Midwestern states and parts of Texas will be announced later this month.