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Economic Research Institute Study paper






Utah State University

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The use of rangelands administered by agencies of the federal government by domestic livestock has been an issue associated with controversy for many years. One of these issues that has surfaced periodically has been the fees charged livestockmen who use lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service (FS). This issue became politically "hot" in 1977 and 1978. This controversy became intense enough that Congress established a fee formula as part of the Public Rangelands Improvement Act (PRIA) of 1978. Congress directed that this formula be used during a seven-year trial period. It was further stipulated that this time would allow the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior to refine data needed to determine the value of forage taken from federal lands by domestic livestock and to compare this to the value of forage available from pri vate lands. A final report was to be submitted to Congress by March of 1985 that outlined the values that were to be estimated. Several study reports have been prepared as part of this evaluation (see the bibliography of this report).