Due to the large amount of bottom land along the rivers and streams which are suitable for irrigated hay crops, ranching has been a valuable component of the area in and around Sublette County, Wyoming since this area was settled in the late 1800s. Ranching continues to provide a significant contribution to both the culture and economics of the communities in this area.
The majority of local ranches are authorized to graze livestock during a portion of the year on BLM administered allotments. Public land grazing is very important to the overall operation of the ranches because it provides pasture during the spring and summer when private hay meadows are being irrigated and producing hay that will be fed to the livestock during the winter.
Domestic livestock grazing administered by the Pinedale Field Office involves mostly cattle use with a few small horse permits; sheep grazing was never dominant in this part of Wyoming and currently, no sheep grazing is authorized in the area.
The majority of allotments within the Pinedale Field Office are grazed only during a 4 to 6 week period in May and June before the livestock are moved to higher elevation allotments administered either by the U.S. Forest Service or BLM and grazed later in the season (July through October). In some cases, the livestock are moved to private pastures.
A few allotments that are grazed season long (May through October), but these allotments typically have rotation systems that prevent cattle from grazing the same area during that entire time.
There are numerous projects such as water developments, fences, and brush control projects that have been developed on public land to support livestock grazing.