Casper Field Office

Livestock Grazing

Lawn Creek Watershed Project

the high plains.
In 1916 Congress enacted the Stock Raising Homestead Law as a result of, among other things, the Johnson County Cattle War. That law allowed individuals one section (640 acres) of public land to be used mainly for grazing and forage cultivation. Settlers had to live on the land and make improvements equal to $1.25 per acre. 

Over the years it became apparent that a section of land was inadequate to support enough livestock for a family ranch. The idea of a grazing lease system was debated for several years.
 
In 1934, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes threatened to withdraw the lands. The Taylor Grazing Act was signed in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt. Approximately 80 million acres of land valuable for grazing and forage crops were available to be placed into grazing districts. To administer these grazing districts, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes created a Division of Grazing with Farrington Carpenter, a Colorado rancher, at the helm. Carpenter held a series of meetings with ranchers and state officials to determine grazing district boundaries. The first grazing district (Rawlins), was established in Wyoming on March 20, 1935; others soon followed. By June 1935, over 65 million acres had been placed in grazing districts. All the established grazing districts are still in effect today. 

Present

The Casper Field Office administers 457 grazing leases covering 182,644 animal unit months (AUMs) of livestock forage on 1,326,733 acres of public land. There are two active stock driveways administered by the Casper office: Bates Hole and 33-Mile. Management of grazing allotments are prioritized based on the classification of the allotments into one of three management categories: maintain (M), improve (I), and custodial (C). These categories broadly define management objectives for the BLM-administered public lands in the allotment.

One objective BLM strives to meet is cooperation with the public whether it be, landowners, companies, or other government agencies. In the past, there have been many cooperative success stories involving the public land managed by the Casper Field Office.

The range staff has developed a set of criteria for managing the rangelands in times of drought.