The Federal grazing fee for 2013 will be $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM)
for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and $1.35 per
head month (HM) for lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The 2013 fee
is the same as last years.
An AUM or HM - treated as equivalent measures for fee purposes - is the
occupancy and use of public lands by one cow and her calf, one horse, or
five sheep or goats for a month. The newly calculated grazing fee,
determined by a congressional formula and effective on March 1, applies to
nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the BLM and more
than 8,000 permits administered by the Forest Service.
The formula used for calculating the grazing fee, which was established by
Congress in the 1978 Public Rangelands Improvement Act, has continued under
a presidential Executive Order issued in 1986. Under that order, the
grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 per AUM, and any increase or decrease
cannot exceed 25 percent of the previous years level.
The annually determined grazing fee is computed by using a 1966 base value
of $1.23 per AUM/HM for livestock grazing on public lands in Western states.
The figure is then calculated according to three factors - current private
grazing land lease rates, beef cattle prices, and the cost of livestock
production. In effect, the fee rises, falls, or stays the same based on
market conditions, with livestock operators paying more when conditions are
better and less when conditions have declined.
The 2013 grazing fee of $1.35 per AUM/HM grazing fee applies to 16 Western
states on public lands administered by the BLM and the Forest Service. The
states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska,
Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah,
Washington, and Wyoming. Permit holders and lessees may contact their local
BLM or U.S. Forest Service office for additional information.
The BLM, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages more land
over 245 million surface acres - than any other Federal agency. Most of
this public land is located in 12 Western states, including Alaska.
The Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, manages
approximately 193 million acres of Federal lands in 44 states, Puerto Rico,
and the Virgin Islands.