The federal government owns approximately 47% of all land in the western United States. In the state of Utah, about 64% of the land base is managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The government has historically issued permits to owners of private lands to allow the owners to graze their livestock on public lands. The permits (allotments) are generally of 10-year duration and allow for an annual season of use. In some cases, continued and repeated historical annual grazing practices may not be ideal for permit holders and their communities nor for the semi-arid western rangelands, wildlife and livestock. In 2010, a group of ranchers holding federal permits with help from employees of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s Grazing Improvement Program (GIP), along with the BLM and the USFS re-examined long-standing cultural and management paradigms. They engaged in a watershed-scale planning effort that encompassed grazing, wildlife, water quality, habitat, recreation, legal, and policy issues. Most notably, the planning process addressed the social dynamics of working with 36 different grazing permittees representing 10 different grazing allotments, and multiple government agencies. The process and its results, both referred to hereafter as the Three Creeks Allotment Consolidation (TCAC), consolidated the allotments of the permittees and providing for a new company to be the permittee and to manage of the lands. The TCAC process, in conjunction with private lands, seeks to improve rangeland, enhance ecosystem services, and provide for increased economic sustainability. In this paper, I describe a dynamic process that may have implications for changing how federal grazing allotments are managed in the future. Specifically, I emphasize the role and importance of managing human dimensions when implementing grazing policies that blend public and private resources.
"The Three Creeks Allotment Consolidation: Changing Western Federal Grazing Paradigms,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 12
, Article 12.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol12/iss2/12
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