U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Buffalo Field Office|
Livestock grazing is authorized on most of the public land surface administered by the Buffalo Field Office. Public lands are intermingled with and grazed in conjunction with private (deeded) properties that are owned or leased by the BLM grazing lessee.
The rangeland management staff administers over 400 grazing leases and slightly fewer grazing units or allotments. Grazing allotments vary in size from less than 40 acres to over 26,000 acres. Rangelands administered by the Buffalo Field Office are some of the more productive rangelands in the state. We conservatively estimate that public lands provide about 110,000 animal unit months of livestock forage.
The management intensity of allotments varies depending primarily on the acreage and continuity public land acreage. Livestock grazing is closely managed and monitored on about thirty larger allotments. BLM manages the grazing use under allotment management plans on thirteen of these high-priority allotments. BLM applies less intensive monitoring of livestock use and rangeland health on another seventy mid-priority allotments.
Rangeland betterment funds generated from grazing fees are used to develop various projects to improve rangeland health, livestock management and other resource values. Most projects include pasture fences and water developments such as wells, springs, reservoirs, and water pipelines. There are over 900 range projects authorized on public land administered by the Buffalo Field Office. About seven new projects are authorized annually.
Prescribed burning is an important management tool used to reduce hazardous wildfire fuels and improve forage for wildlife and livestock. The Buffalo Field Office implements about two or three prescribed burns annually covering 600 to 2,000 acres.
The rangeland management staff consists of four permanent rangeland management specialists and a range administrative specialist. The rangeland management specialists work on the ground with the grazing lessees to implement ecologically sound grazing practices. The range administration specialist focuses on a variety of administrative tasks including billing, lease applications, lease renewals, transfers and technical support.