From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 7 - May 16, 2002
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Stewards of the rangelands

by Cat Urbigkit

Stewards of the rangelands

Grazing permittees in the Bureau of Land Managementís Pinedale Resource Area were told last month that due to the extreme drought in southwest Wyoming last year, the federal agency would authorize no more than 75 percent of the grazing use authorized in their grazing permits for this season.

But a sampling of BLM records this week revealed that permittees have imposed greater reductions than the federal agency requires.

BLM rangeland management specialist Doug Powell teamed up with the Examiner in conducting a random sampling of grazing permits subject to the 75 percent restriction on Tuesday.

Two of the 19 allotments examined are taking total non-use. Eight allotments in the Big Piney region with a total of 10,482 animal unit months (AUMs) on their permits applied for and received authorization for only 3,199 AUMs. Six allotments ranging from Boulder to the desert have 2,385 AUMs available on the permits, but applied for use of 1,414 AUMs. One permit was making full use of its allotted 271 AUMs, while the remaining two permits had an allotted 337 AUMs available on the permits, but were using 219 AUMs. In total, 17 allotments applied for and received authorization to use only about 38 percent of their permitted AUMs.

After reviewing the data, Powell said, "It surprised me a little bit that it showed as much non-use as what it does."

Powell also commented that the largest common allotment on the Mesa is utilizing only 62 percent of its allotted AUMs, while the Square Top common allotment south of Boulder is at 72 percent.

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