U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Livestock grazing is a major activity in the Richfield Field Office. Permittees purchase animal unit months (AUMS) of livestock forage. An AUM is the amount of forage necessary for the sustenance of one cow and calf, five sheep, two burros or one horse for one month. About 108,543 AUMS of livestock forage are authorized annually.
BLM’s grazing regulations were revised in 1995 to ensure that livestock grazing is conducted in a manner the will sustain or improve the fundamental ecological health of public rangelands. Under the revised grazing regulations, each BLM state office worked with its citizen Resource Advisory Councils (RAC) to develop state and area specific Standards for Rangeland Health and Guidelines for Managing Livestock Grazing.
The intended outcome of the Standards and Guidelines will result in a balance of sustainable development and multiple use along with progress, over time, toward attaining desired rangeland conditions. Guidelines are based on science, best rangeland management practices, and public input. These recommended Standards and Guidelines reflect the stated goals of improving rangeland health while providing for the viability of the livestock industry as well as all wildlife species.
The office conducts assessments of grazing allotments to determine if Standards for Rangeland Health are being achieved. If an assessment determines that an area is not meeting the standards for rangeland health, the field office prepares an analysis that identifies opportunities and methods to adjust grazing management, and initiates the changes needed to make significant progress in improving rangeland health. Permittees have the opportunity to be actively involved in the rangeland management process, through cooperative monitoring and proactive grazing use.
As of 2015, range staff administers livestock grazing on 130 allotments and has 162 permittees; encompassing 2.2 million acres of public land. Range staff issue grazing permits, complete billing for grazing on public land, assess and mitigate the impacts of livestock grazing on rangeland health, oversee the installation and maintenance of range improvements and monitor livestock use to insure compliance with grazing rules and regulations.
Range is part of the renewable resources staff which includes other program areas such as wildlife, riparian and noxious weeds. The range program also provides support to other programs within the offices such as non renewable resources and fire.