Range sheep production has been one of the major agricultural enterprises in Utah, particularly in the southwestern part of the state, since these areas were first settled. Stock sheep numbers in Utah were about 2,100,000 by 1890, which is approximately the present number in the state. Since 1890 the numbers have fluctuated between 2,000,000 and 2,775,000.
This important industry has, from the time of its introduction, been closely associated with the use of public range lands. The unrestricted grazing of public range lands resulted in damage to a considerable area and was one of the important factors that led to the establishment of federal agencies to administer these properties.
Broadbent, Dee A.; Blanch, George T.; and Thomas, W. Preston, "Bulletin No. 325 - An Economic Study of Sheep Production in Southwestern Utah" (1946). UAES Bulletins. Paper 286.