Grazing and Rangeland Management

Management of rangeland occurs on approximately 8.3 million acres of public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Colorado. Rangeland is a type of land, not a use. Composed of soil, water, air, flora, and fauna, rangeland resources generate many values, uses, and activities. Directly and indirectly, rangelands contribute environmentally, economically, and socially on local to global levels.

Rangelands provide protection to watersheds, quality water supplies, recreation, scenic beauty, and opportunities for enjoyment, relaxation, and solitude. Rangelands provide forage and habitat for many species of organisms, including insects, birds, wildlife, and wild horses by converting energy from the sun into food, fiber, and cover.

Rangeland also provides forage and habitat to domestic livestock. In Colorado, nearly 1500 livestock operators are authorized grazing use on 2500 grazing areas called allotments through an approved grazing permit/lease. Grazing is managed by the terms and conditions specified for each allotment on the permit/lease, e.g., kind and number of livestock, season of use, and amount of use permitted each grazing year.

Permit/leases are generally issued for a term of 10 years. When permits/leases expire, before being renewed they undergo a review for conformance with land use plans and compliance with environmental documentation requirements. An important part of the renewal process involves soliciting comments, interest, concerns, and resource information through public scoping. The public comments along with internal scoping and all other available information is used by BLM Field Managers to prioritize and rank permit/lease renewals for processing on a priority basis.

In September of 2001, Colorado BLM field offices posted notices of public scoping on the Internet, soliciting input from all sources on the renewals scheduled for completion during fiscal year (FY) 2002, and on establishing priorities for land areas to be assessed for compliance with Colorado public land health standards. As a result of the input received, and considering all other available information, each field office completed a 2 part plan for advising the public on how they plan to accomplish the renewal effort and where health assessments will be conducted in FY 02 (Oct 1, 2001 to Sept. 30, 2002). On an average year in Colorado, approximately 170 permit/leases are renewed. For FY 2002, Colorado had 155 permits/leases expiring during FY02.

Attached are the individual field office plans for advising the public on how they intend to accomplish their renewal workload after considering all internal and external input received, and all available information. Each plan is in 2 parts.

Part 1 - Identifies the permits and the ranking of those permits/allotments into high, moderate, and low categories based on levels of issues and concerns from internal and external scoping, and all other information available. The rankings were also used to determine the amount of consideration necessary and the appropriate level of NEPA documentation for reaching a decision on each grazing permit renewal.

Part 2 - Identifies the area(s) where assessments for compliance with Colorado health standards will be conducted during FY 2012.

If you have any questions, comments, or other concerns, please contact the appropriate field office .

To view the scoping notice of a specific field office click on the appropriate office website/link below.

Colorado River Valley Field Office - Silt, Co
Field Office Plan
Permit Renewal Map

Grand Junction Field Office - Grand Junction, Co
Field Office Plan

Gunnison Field Office - Gunnison, Colorado
Field Office Plan

Kremmling Field Office - Kremmling, Colorado
Field Office Plan

La Jara Field Office - La Jara, Colorado
Field Office Plan

Little Snake Field Office - Craig, Colorado
Field Office Plan

Royal Gorge Field Office - Canon City, Colorado
Field Office Plan

Saguache Field Office - Saguache, Colorado
Field Office Plan

San Juan Public Lands Center - ( Columbine, Pagosa, Dolores, Canyon of the Ancients Offices)
Field Office Plans

Uncompahgre Basin Field Office - Montrose, Colorado
Field Office Plan

White River Field Office- Meeker, Colorado
Field Office Plan

Other BLM Links: