The BLM manages activities and resources on public rangelands to ensure that that fundamental rangeland health is being sustained or improved. Each BLM State Office has worked with its citizen Resource Advisory Councils to develop State-specific standards for rangeland health and guidelines for managing livestock grazing. The Idaho Rangeland Health Standards establish eight resource measures and 20 management guidelines needed to ensure healthy functioning of all BLM-managed rangelands in Idaho.
As part of its mandate to manage the public lands for multiple use, the BLM permits livestock grazing on about 160 million of the 245 million acres of public land it administers nationally, in a manner aimed at achieving and maintaining rangeland health. In 2011, the BLM in Idaho authorized 832,000 AUMs of forage and fully processed 199 grazing permit renewals.
In the summer, ranchers move their livestock to graze on public lands grazing allotments managed by the Bureau of Land Management or U.S. Forest Service. Public grazing allotments are critical to the overall grazing operation. The renewal process for BLM grazing permits is extensive and time-consuming. To qualify to graze livestock on public lands, ranchers must first obtain a special use permit. Grazing permits have to be renewed every 10 years, as required by federal law.
The BLM regularly monitors conditions on lands where grazing is authorized, to determine whether Rangeland Health Standards are being met. If an assessment determines that an area is not meeting standards or making significant progress toward meeting them, rangeland management staff identify adjustments or permit conditions that may be necessary, using the Rangeland Health Guidelines developed for the area.
NEWS: BLM and ISDA Partner with Ranchers to Monitor Rangeland Health in Idaho | Read the MOU
Range monitoring catches on with Idaho Ranchers
The Care & Share Program gives recreationists a head's up about co-existing with sheep, cattle grazing on public lands.
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Mountain Home ranchers form Idaho's first Rangeland Fire Protection Association (RFPA) with Idaho Department of Lands and the BLM
Life on the Range: educational stories about the ever-changing landscape of ranching, multiple-use management, entrepreneurial spirit, family and stewardship on Idaho's rangelands. Life on the Range is sponsored by the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission.