Monday, January 16, 2017

Utah ranchers forming LLC in innovative grazing plan

Carol Ryan Dumas

More than a decade ago ranchers in northern Utah saw the writing on the wall — the way they had operated on public land for years wasn’t going to be acceptable to some people, and their grazing permits would be appealed by anti-agriculture groups. That’s just what happened in 2001. Permittees were able to reverse the stay on grazing, but they needed to come up with a management plan that made sense for grazing while taking care of the natural resources. They turned to the state for help. Thus began the idea to consolidate the permittees’ public land allotments and livestock herds, Taylor Payne, grazing and rangeland coordinator in the Utah Grazing Improvement Program, said during the University of Idaho Range Livestock Symposium last week. The director of Utah’s Division of Wildlife Services saw no reason livestock on public land couldn’t be managed to the benefit of wildlife and the environment. After all, it was being done on a large neighboring private ranch that had incorporated rest rotational grazing. The initial response of permittees was that it couldn’t be done. The private ranch ran solely on private ground and had the money to make improvements and manage intensively. The public land ranchers were apprehensive about the cost, private property rights and additional work, Payne said. But the conversation continued, and planning for the Three Creeks projects and consolidated management started in 2009...more

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