Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Economics

Department name when degree awarded

Agricultural Economics

Committee Chair(s)

N. Keith Roberts


N. Keith Roberts


Range land is an important resource in Utah's economy. Of 52.7 million acres of land in Utah about 78 percent is used for production of range livestock (14).1 In 1958, cash receipts of range livestock amounted to 62.7 million dollars, or 38.8 percent of Utah's total agricultural cash receipts (19).

Of total land within its boundary, the state owns 2,723,157 acres, or 5.17 percent (32). The state legislature has designated the Utah State Land Board as the responsible agency for administering this land to provide income for various state institutions.

The people of the state of Utah are required to pay for the operation of common schools and other public institutions. Many of these tax supported institutions are partly financed by interest from permanent school funds. As the cost of operating these institutions is growing each year, it is in the interest of the state that the permanent school funds yield as much revenue as possible. It is important that management of state land be such that the greatest possible revenue from the resource be forthcoming.

The State Land Board (hereafter referred to as the Board) does not have the knowledge that can be developed from research on the income possible from management alternatives. Can state lands be managed differently to increase state revenue? The answer to this problem is important if the Board is to make decisions which will maximize future returns to the state from state-owned lands.

Revenue received from state land comes from: first, leases both mineral and grazing; second, interest on funds invested from sales of land; and third, oil and other royalties.

This study will be limited to revenue received from grazing. It is realized that other sources of income are important; however, studies now in process will place emphasis on revenue from mineral leases, royalties, and investments.1 Many problems are involved in receiving revenue from grazing leases. It is difficult to keep all land leased. The central problem of leasing state land is the physical task of providing supervision because of the land being scattered throughout the state in tracts of approximately 640 acres among lands of other ownership. Effective supervision of these scattered lands becomes difficult if not impossible. As a result of ineffective supervision, it is no secret that state lands have not increased or even maintained original productivity. In past years the state has not been able to lease all of its land; yet some unleased land has been used by various livestock men in the state. Because of the lack of personnel and scattered location of the land, it has been impossible for the Board to prosecute livestock men or restrict the use of the land. This results in a loss of income to the state.

In the present situation it is difficult to fix carrying capacity on much of the state land. Land examiners employed by the state have time to appraise and work with trouble leases only. This leaves much state land receiving little or no attention.



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Agriculture Commons