Nevada Rangeland Management and Grazing
BLM livestock grazing policies are designed to protect the productivity of public lands while ensuring efficient and effective administration. Properly managed livestock grazing is congressionally mandated and provides economic and social benefits to Nevada communities.
The federal grazing fee is adjusted annually and is calculated by using a formula originally set by Congress in the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978. An AUM (or animal unit month) is the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month. The grazing fee for grazing year (GY) 2015 was $1.69 per AUM. The grazing fee for GY 2016 is $2.11.
Any U.S. citizen or validly licensed business can apply for a BLM grazing permit or lease. To do so, one must either: buy or control private property (known as “base property”) that has been legally recognized by the BLM as having preference for the use of public land grazing privileges, or acquire property that has the capability to serve as base property and then apply to the BLM to transfer the preference for grazing privileges from an existing base property to the acquired property (which would become the new “base property”).
The first alternative happens when base property (a ranch) is sold or leased to a new individual or business; the buyer or lessee then applies to the BLM for the use of grazing privileges associated with that property. The second alternative would happen when a rancher wants to transfer existing public land grazing privileges to another party while keeping the private ranch property.
BLM Nevada Grazing Basics:
- BLM Nevada administers 668 grazing authorizations on 797 grazing allotments
- Nevada has the most public land authorized for grazing in BLM; about 43 million acres
- Nevada currently permits about 2 million AUMs
- From 1990 to present, BLM has authorized 1.3 to 1.8 million AUMs annually
- Nevada historically ranks third/fourth in AUMs sold