Grazing Fee Defies FLPMA

Paragraph 9 of Section 102 in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the statute that codified ‘multiple use’ and authorized helicopter roundups of federally protected horses and burros, requires that:

FLPMA Fair Value-1

The fee for livestock grazing on western rangelands is currently $1.35 per AUM, updated annually according to a formula in the Public Rangelands Improvement Act.

Last month, however, ranchers in New Mexico bid $35 to $43 per AUM to graze eight parcels on withdrawn lands near Alamogordo.

If that is the going rate, then the U.S. is not receiving fair market value for the use of public lands in the western U.S., in defiance of FLPMA.

If the fee was increased by $40 per AUM—in line with market rates—the U.S would receive an additional $360 million per year, a nice offset to the cost of warehousing wild horses and burros, who were forced off their home range at the behest of the ranchers.

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