Horse News

Welfare Ranching Grazing Fee Drops in 2017, Further Undervaluing Public Lands

Source: The Wildlife News

“This has got to be the cheapest all-you-can-eat buffet deal in the country,”

Welfare Cows eat more of your wallet and Wild Horse & Burro Habitat

Welfare Cows eat more of your wallet and Wild Horse & Burro Habitat

LARAMIE, Wyo. – The public lands management agencies announced the grazing fee for federal allotments today, which the federal government has decreased to a mere $1.87 per cow and her calf (or 5 sheep) per month, known as an Animal Unit Month, or AUM.

“This has got to be the cheapest all-you-can-eat buffet deal in the country,” said Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project. “Our public lands are a national treasure that should be protected for future generations with responsible stewardship. It makes no sense to rent them to ranchers for below-market prices to prop up a dying industry that degrades soil productivity, water, wildlife habitat, and the health of the land.”

Two hundred and twenty million acres of public lands in the West are used for private livestock industry profits through the management of approximately 22,000 grazing permits. The low fee leaves the federal program at an overwhelming deficit. This year’s fee is a a decrease of 11 percent from last year’s fee of $2.11 per AUM far less than the average cost for private lands grazing leases.  The fee is calculated using a decades-old formula that takes into account the price of fuel and the price of beef, and this year’s fee falls far below the level of $2.31 per AUM that was charged in 1980. Additionally, the fee doesn’t cover the cost to taxpayers of range infrastructure, erosion control, vegetation manipulation, and government predator killing – all indirect subsidies that expand the program’s total deficit.

“The subsidy to public lands livestock grazers just got bigger,” Molvar said. “It’s a totally unjustified handout that persists for purely political reasons, with little or no benefit to Americans.”

8 replies »

  1. We can certainly thank all the Dumpster voters for this too! So now we have ranchers leasing more land for less, foreign companies leasing to mine and crack the land and just remove all the horses and burros. How native are these cattle? Its a travesty! Screw the people, screw the animals they will just take a and take until our public lands are depleted! We can only hope for some very dire miracles!!


  2. They’re gearing up to turn it into a wasteland…the oil drillers and frackers are coming soon. The ranchers lucrative and lazy way of life is coming to an end.. They’re next in line to being in the way of big money and they’re going to lose just like everything and everybody else.


  3. What is the justification for LOWERING fees, when the subsidy already fails to even pay for the limited oversight by paid public servants? If this new administration truly wanted to give power back to the people as Trump trumpeted in his inaugural diatribe, giving a handful of private interests even lower fees at higher cost to taxpayers is BS, to our land and to our people.

    Beef prices are supposedly dropping in 2017, so fees should be HIGHER, not lower, to end this wasteful and lasting handout.


    • The justification is corporatism. Ones’ actions speak louder than words, and one of the things you are taught in economic and political sciences is that it doesn’t matter what words you say, what matters are your actions. And so far, the new BLM director is going to be a rancher that wants to give public lands away and the new Interior Secretary is a pro-slaughter enabler. What else could be expected other than pillage and plundering of public lands?


  4. House GOP rules change will make it easier to sell off federal land
    The inside track on Washington politics.
    By Juliet Eilperin

    Many Republicans, including House Natural Resources Committee Chairman ROB BISHOP (R-Utah), have been pushing to hand over large areas of federal land to state and local authorities, on the grounds that they will be more responsive to the concerns of local residents.
    House Natural Resources Committee spokeswoman MOLLY BLOCK said in a statement that “in many cases federal lands create a significant burden for the surrounding communities,” because they cannot be taxed and can be “in disrepair.”
    But many Democrats argue that these lands should be managed on behalf of all Americans, not just those living nearby, and warn that cash-strapped state and local officials might sell these parcels to developers.


  5. Perhaps there might not be quite as much push from GOP & their constituents if they stopped to think that the “downside” might possibly be the complete stop of all the many subsidies they get!!! Really, why should the continue to bail out the allotment users if it is no longer their problem! (or I should say, our problem)


  6. Free Beef for All. OUR TAX DOLLARS BOUGHT IT! Their our public lands hence Our public beef. Since were footing the bull we should eat it.


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