Grazing and Rangeland Health

Cows in damaged Little Lost River Valley allotment, Idaho

On more than 250 million acres of public lands in the American West, grazing by domestic livestock constitutes by far the most widespread human-caused impact on fundamental range conditions, including habitat quality, riparian functioning, and endangered species. More extensive than the impacts of logging and mining combined, commercial livestock grazing exacts an enormous toll on native ecosystems and wildlife throughout the American West. The federal government has yet to asses the impacts of the grazing program on climate. The significance of livestock methane production and desertification are certainly contributing factors to global warming. Grazing is a cited factor in the endangerment of federally listed threatened and endangered species and a major contributor to non-point source water pollution.

The Forest Service (FS) manages grazing on 102 acres of public land and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), administrator grazing permits on 155 million acres.

BLM is required to monitor the ecological impacts of grazing on its lands. BLM conducts field evaluations of whether its grazing allotments meet “Land Health Standards” (LHS), but until now the results of these evaluations have been largely inaccessible to those outside the agency and their results have escaped independent review.

Mapping Rangeland Health

BLM Rangeland Map 2012

Our interactive BLM Rangeland Health Standards Evaluation Data (2020) on MangoMaps is based on data from 2020, obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. PEER worked with a former BLM contractor to analyze what these records reveal about the condition of our public lands and BLM’s discharge of its duties to safeguard them.

Download the Rangeland Health Fact Sheet»

GRAZING REFORM NEWS FROM PEER

Interior Has Bad Case of Climate “Cow Blindness”

Failure to Address Commercial Livestock Climate Impacts Invites Lawsuits

Letter to Sec. Haaland – Climate Impacts of Livestock Grazing – 07-22-2022 (PDF)

Letter to Secretary Deb Haaland and the Climate Task Force regarding Interior’s failure to address climate Impacts ...

PEERMail | Agency Policies Threaten Iconic Bird

The Interior Secretary announced a phaseout of single-use plastics in national parks and other public lands.

VIDEO | Mapping the Range

BLM needs to create a central BLM geodatabase, coordinate all of the agency databases, complete and update all ...

PEERMail | Rangeland Health Means Fixing the BLM Grazing Program

PEER is working to ensure that a functional BLM grazing program is a part of the land conservation conversation.

Agency Records Paint Bleak Picture of Western Landscape

New Map Shows Harmful Impacts of BLM Livestock Grazing Program

Interior Wild Horse Focus Ignores Cattle Impacts  

BLM’s Scientific “Cow Blindness” Impedes Sage Grouse Recovery

Nevada Has a Very Bad Grazing Problem

Worst in West: Two-Thirds of Assessed BLM Allotments Badly Overgrazed

Letter to Secretary Deb Haaland – 07-21-2021 (PDF) 

DESCRIPTION: Letter to Secretary Deb Haaland asking the administration to address livestock overgrazing on federal ...

BLM Won’t Stop Illegal Grazing  

Range Manager Facing Suspension After Appealing to Pendley 

Trump’s “Sagebrush Rebels” Mull Latest Bundy Trespass   

Prosecution Unlikely Amid Sharp Decline in Interior Criminal Enforcement    

PEERMail | Bungling Public Health in a Pandemic

The bungled response to the COVID-19 pandemic exposes the rapid decline in the U.S. government’s ability to ...

America’s Rangelands Deeply Damaged by Overgrazing  

Figures Show Vast Areas Failing BLM’s Own Rangeland Health Standards

Taxpayers Fleeced Once Again

Public Lands Livestock Operations Pay the Bare Minimum

Rock Bottom Federal Grazing Fees Probed

BLM Cloaking Environmental and Fiscal Impacts of Vast Livestock Program

BLM Whistleblower Reinstated

Courthouse Steps Agreement Means Monday MSPB Hearing Is Cancelled

Blowing Whistle on Range Violations Unwelcome in BLM

BLM Fires 21-Year Veteran Whistleblower Rather than Curtailing Illegal Grazing

BLM Commercial Grazing Program Goes Underground

Agency Stops Posting Performance Data and Hides Basic Programmatic Information

Public Land Livestock Fees Hit Rock-Bottom

Full Cost of Federal Grazing Program Well Overdue for Complete Analysis

Clueless Oversight Promotes Damaging Livestock Practices

House Hearing Ignores Declining Range Conditions and Costs of Welfare Ranching

BLM Still MIA On Grazing Trespass

After Bundy Mistrial, Repeated Agency Vows to Stem Illegal Grazing Go Astray

Range Rustling Remains Rampant

Ignoring GAO Reports, BLM Foregoes Promised Steps to Check Grazing Trespass

Livestock Land Abuse Rampant on Public Range

New BLM Figures Show Little Progress in Healing Lands Degraded by Overgrazing

BLM Agrees to Beef up Livestock Range Condition Reports

Data Quantifying and Qualifying Grazing Effects on Land Health Belatedly Restored

Shaving Livestock Grazings Carbon Hoofprint

Complaints Target BLM Neutral Stance on Livestock Grazing Climate Impacts

Oregon Refuge Standoff Latest Extremist Jihad

Federal Inaction for 19 Months on Bundy Spawns More Militia Confrontations

Battle Mountain Grazing Settlement Sows Seeds of Discord

Rancher Rewarded for Defiant Trespass as BLM Avoids Enforcement at All Costs

Surrendered Bundy Documents Shed No Light on Events

BLM: No Criminal Referrals, Cattle Inventory, or Lessons Learned

BLM Dumbing Down Reports on Livestock Range Conditions

Complaint Demands Restoration of Data Quantifying and Qualifying Grazing Effects

Cattle Trample Sage Grouse Recovery Prospects

New Grazing Data Center Documents Widespread Habitat Damage

Nevada Ranchers Suffer From Self-Deluded Drought Denial

Data Backs BLM Manager’s Allotment Cuts in Face of “Cowboy Express” Protest

BLM Weighs Wild Horse Impact Much More Heavily Than Cattle

Agency Sage Grouse Review Puts Thumb on Scale to Magnify Wild Horse and Burro Effects

BLM Says It Cannot Track Cattle on Its Lands

Blames Lack of “Seamless Data” for Excluding Livestock from Range Assessments

BLM Ducks Complaint About Suppressing Livestock Damage

Landscape Assessments in Limbo after Scientists Told to Ignore Livestock Impacts

Livestock’s Heavy Hooves Impair One-Third of BLM Rangelands

33 million Acres of BLM Grazing Allotments Fail Basic Rangeland Health Standards

Grazing Punted From Federal Study of Land Changes in West

Scientists Told to Not Consider Grazing Due to Fear of Lawsuits and Data Gaps

Deadly Domestic Sheep Disease Threatens Endangered Sierra Nevada Bighorn

Feds Threatened With Legal Action to Close Grazing Allotments, Remedy Endangered Species Act Violations

BUSH & NORTON’S BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT IGNORING GRAZING AGREEMENT TO PROTECT DESERT TORTOISE

Environmentalists Ask Court to Hold BLM in Contempt for Failure to Comply with Court Order