Cattle graze on open range in Montana. BLM Montana photo.

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Livestock Grazing on Public Lands

The BLM manages livestock grazing on 155 million acres of those lands.  The terms and conditions for grazing on BLM-managed lands (such as stipulations on forage use and season of use) are set forth in the permits and leases issued by the BLM to public land ranchers. 

The BLM administers nearly 18,000 permits and leases held by ranchers who graze their livestock, mostly cattle and sheep, at least part of the year on more than 21,000 allotments. Permits and leases generally cover a 10-year period and are renewable if the BLM determines that the terms and conditions of the expiring permit or lease are being met. The amount of grazing that takes place each year on BLM-managed public lands can be affected by such factors as drought, wildfire, and market conditions. 

Find information about livestock grazing on BLM-managed lands:

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Featured Video

This video shares a brief snapshot of what it is like to spend a morning sorting sheep with the Noh Family (BLM and Forest Service livestock grazing permittees).