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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

January 28, 2011

1792/4130 (MT923) P
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2011-025
Expires: 9/30/2012
To:             Leadership Advisory Team
From:         State Director
Subject:     Renewing Grazing Permits Associated with Base Property Leases
Program Area: Rangeland Management
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to more efficiently renew grazing permits associated with base property leases when certain conditions apply.
Policy/Action: When fully processing and renewing grazing permits associated with base property leases, you may complete one National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document and decision authorizing grazing for the next 10 year period so long as the same applicant maintains control of the base property.  Include the following language in your scoping and consultation processes, in the proposed action section of the NEPA document, in your permit issuance decision, and in the terms and conditions of the permit:
"The term of the permit will run from           (date)            to          (date), which coincides with the dates of the base property lease. Provided that current monitoring information indicates that range conditions are in conformance with 43 CFR 4180, the permit may be renewed upon renewal of the base property lease through (end date of 10 year period) ."
As long as the lessee maintains control of the base property through subsequent leases or lease extensions, you may simply change the dates of the permit, print a new copy out, and then have the authorized officer approve it without any further agency action.  This assumes that the lessee name does not change, that monitoring indicates the allotment(s) is/are meeting or making significant progress toward meeting rangeland health standards, and that we are still within the 10 year window of the original permit renewal decision. This is equivalent to the typical permit renewal situation where a permittee owns or leases the base property for the entire 10 year period.
Timeframe:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) is effective upon receipt.  
Budget Impact:  The effect of this IM on the budget would be minimal because the required permit renewal tasks would be more efficiently accomplished on a small number of permits where certain conditions apply.
Background:  This minor policy change would make Montana/Dakotas’ permit renewal processes more consistent with other states.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  None
Coordination: This IM has been coordinated within the Branch of Planning and Biological Resources (MT923)with input from various field office range and planning staffs.
Contact: All office responses or questions should be submitted to Floyd Thompson, Rangeland Management Specialist, at 406-896-5025, or James Beaver, Land Use Specialist, at 406-896-5023.
Signed by:                                                                               Authenticated by:
Diane M. Friez                                                                          Melissa Dykes
for State Director                                                                     Staff Assistant (MT923)

Last updated: 06-28-2012