The Current reported in October the damage caused by livestock in Nevada is largely unknown because the BLM has reviewed less than half of the land allotted to ranchers in the state, according to BLM data obtained through a public information request by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
According to PEER’s report based on BLM field office data, the BLM has granted 782 allotments of public rangeland to ranchers in Nevada, covering 43.2 million acres. Of that, it has failed during a multi-year process to assess more than half — 481 allotments totalling 24.7 million acres.
PEER’s database shows satellite images overlaid on BLM’s allotments, revealing the land’s condition, according to the organization. Of the more than 18 million acres of assessed land, only 3.5 million met BLM standards for soil condition, vegetation and water.
“By its own yardstick, BLM is a poor steward of our federal rangeland,” PEER Advocacy Director Kristen Stade said in a release in October, adding the government’s grazing fee of $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM) is a fraction of comparable fees on private land. “These ultra-low fees appear to subsidize land abuse.”