Today the BLM manages livestock grazing in accordance with the principles of multiple use and sustained yield embodied in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (1976) and the Taylor Grazing Act (1934). BLM's grazing regulations were developed in the 1990's to ensure that livestock grazing is conducted in a manner that will sustain or improve the fundamental ecological health of public rangelands. Under the revised grazing regulations, each BLM state office worked with its citizen-based Resource Advisory Councils to develop state-specific Standards for Rangeland Health and Guidelines for Managing Livestock Grazing.
Standards describe specific conditions needed for public land health, such as the presence of streambank vegetation and adequate canopy and ground cover. Guidelines are the management techniques designed to achieve or maintain healthy public lands, as defined by the standards. These techniques include such methods as seed dissemination and periodic rest or deferment from grazing in specific allotments during critical growth periods.
Other laws that apply to the BLM’s management of public lands grazing include the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978.