Washington, DC — The Bureau of Land Management’s most recent data on the health of federal rangelands reveal extensive damage from excessive commercial livestock grazing, according to figures posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Last month, BLM announced its intent to rewrite its grazing rules without specifying the measures it is considering.
“By its own yardstick, BLM is a poor steward of our federal rangeland,” stated PEER Advocacy Director Kristen Stade, noting that the fee for grazing on public rangelands, set this year at its lowest allowable rate of $1.35 per animal unit month, is a fraction of rates for grazing on comparable private or state lands. “These ultra-low fees appear to subsidize land abuse.”
BLM no longer displays rangeland health data, which was once available to the public on the agency’s website for years dating back to 1989. Despite promising improved new data reporting and mapping standards in 2016, the agency has removed updated information on range health from its website altogether. The newest rangeland health data is from 2018 and was obtained by PEER from the agency.