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August 18, 2008

In Reply Refer To:
4100 (220) P

Instruction Memorandum No. 2008-170
Expires:  09/30/2009

All State Directors (Except Eastern States and Alaska)
Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Transmittal of (1) “Processing Worksheet: Lien Holder Notice of Interest in Base Property and/or BLM Grazing Authorization” and (2) “Investing in Range Improvements on Public Lands: Factsheet”

Program Area: Livestock Grazing Administration.

Purpose/Background:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) transmits a worksheet to be used by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff to process notices submitted to the BLM by lenders who claim a security interest in base property and/or a grazing authorization. Employing this worksheet will ensure that the information provided by such notices is sufficient and appropriate for BLM’s regulatory and administrative needs. It also transmits a fact sheet concerning public land range improvements that explains what rights grazing operators have to compensation for the adjusted value of their interest in authorized permanent structural range improvements, among other things.

Lien Holder Notices

Obtaining operational loans is a common business practice of ranchers and farmers. Consistent with the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, the BLM acknowledges that lenders will accept a rancher’s BLM-issued permit or lease as security for a loan intended to further the rancher’s livestock operation. The grazing regulations at 43 CFR § 4130.9 require that the BLM renew permits and leases that have been pledged as security for loans, provided the permittee or lessee has complied with the grazing regulations and such renewal will be in accordance with other applicable laws and regulations. 43 CFR § 4110.2-3(c) provides that the BLM will not allow a transfer of grazing preference from base property without the written consent of known base property encumbrance holders. “Base property” is defined at 43 CFR 4100.0-5. In addition, the BLM must provide known lien holders with proposed grazing decisions that affect them (see 43 § CFR 4160.1(a)). 

For these reasons, the BLM accepts notices from lenders of their security interest in base property and/or the associated grazing permit or lease.  The BLM files these notices in the pertinent operator case records.  The BLM’s grazing operator case records are a component of a Privacy Act protected system of records (LLM-2 “Rangeland Management System”). This IM transmits a worksheet to be used by BLM to ensure that the lien holder notices that BLM receives include only the information that the BLM needs to fulfill its regulatory responsibilities as described above.

Range Improvements 

Range improvements are authorized physical modifications or treatments which are designed to improve production of forage; change vegetation composition; control patterns of use; provide water; stabilize soil and water conditions; and restore, protect, and improve the conditions of the rangeland ecosystems to benefit livestock, wild horses and burros, and fish and wildlife.  They include, but are not limited to, structures, vegetation treatment projects, and use of mechanical devices or modifications achieved through mechanical means (43 CFR § 4100.0-5).  The BLM authorizes and constructs range improvement projects on public lands to further multiple use management objectives established in land use plans and activity plans. The BLM, grazing operators, and other persons, organizations, and government entities can individually or collectively fund or contribute labor or materials to the cooperative construction of range improvements.  A contribution to partially or completely fund an improvement may enable the BLM to authorize a project that otherwise could not be built. In certain circumstances, grazing operators have rights to compensation for the adjusted value of their interest in permanent structural range improvements (see 43 U.S.C. 1752(g)). The BLM has developed a fact sheet that explains these rights for grazing operators, lenders, and the public.

  1. Upon receipt of a notice of lien on, or security interest in, base property and or an associated grazing permit or lease, field offices are directed to employ the newly- developed Form 4110-5: Processing Worksheet: Lien Holder Notice of Interest in Base Property and/or BLM Grazing Authorization” (Attachment 1). Follow the instructions on the worksheet to determine if the notice may be processed as received or returned to the lender for correction and resubmission.  This form will be posted on the BLM’s internal forms website (http://www.blm.gov/blmforms/) in the near future.
  2. During discussions with grazing operators regarding the funding of the initial construction of range improvement projects, advise them regarding their interest in range improvements to which they have contributed. For purposes of providing this advice, you may use and distribute the attached BLM Factsheet: “Investing in Range Improvements on Public Lands” (Attachment 2). This fact sheet will be posted on the BLM’s public website at: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/grazing.1.html
  3. These attachments may be provided to grazing operators, lenders, and other members of the public.

Timeframe:  This policy is effective immediately.

Budget Impact:  None.

Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  The direction in this IM will be incorporated into H-4110-1 and H-4120-1.

Coordination:  Division of Public Affairs (WO-610), Division of Resource Services (OC-535), Division of Business Services (OC-600), Office of the Solicitor, Division of Land and Water Resources.

Contacts: Please contact Rob Roudabush at (202) 785-6569 or Ken Visser at (775) 861-6492 of the Division of Rangeland Resources (WO-220).
Signed by:                                                                  Authenticated by:
Bud Cribley                                                                 Robert M. Williams
Deputy Assistant Director                                           Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning
2 Attachments

Last updated: 10-21-2009