Posts tagged ‘count’

July 31, 2011

BLM’s 1996 & 2011 Wild Horse Report by State, Cattle Grazing Fees & System

# of Wild Horses still roaming free according to BLM’s website

State                     1996                 2011

Arizona                171                   434
California         2434                  2872
Colorado             871                     984
Idaho                    551                    500
Montana              165                    165
Nevada            22796                  17710
New Mexico          70                        63
Oregon               1718                   2456
Utah                   2405                   2497
Wyoming          4105                    5333

Total                  35286                33014

There are fewer Wild Horses in 2011 than in 1996 roaming free according to BLM’s own reports.

Horses in Holding Facilities (2011)  – approx. 40,334.  

How much does this cost?   The DAILY per-horse cost for taxpayers:

  • Short-term holding facilities is $5 per horse
  • Long-term holding costs are $1.25 per horse.

And horses can live 10-25 years in a long-term holding facility.
Many Wild Horse Areas have been completely 100% removed of horses – forever.   At the current removal rate, Wild Horses could be extinct in 10 years!

Many advocates say there are fewer than 20,000 perhaps as low as 15,000 Wild Horses roaming free.  Many have asked for third party ‘head count’ to check the BLM’s official numbers.

BLM’s CATTLE GRAZING PROGRAM:

The Bureau does not make an annual national “count” of the livestock that graze on BLM-managed lands because the actual number of livestock grazing on public lands on any single day varies throughout the year and livestock are often moved from one grazing allotment to another.  So an aggregate head count would provide very little information on overall livestock use. ….. http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/grazing.html

By golly they certainly count EVERY WILD HORSE don’t they!!!

Meanwhile  income from cattle grazing is only $1.35 per cow/calf per month, per AUM  (AUM = animal unit month, 1 cow/calf, or 5 sheep/goats, forage needed for one month).  The grazing fee for 2011 is only $1.35 per AUM.

The Federal grazing fee, which applies to Federal lands in 16 Western states on public lands managed by the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service, is adjusted annually and is calculated by using a formula originally set by Congress in the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978. Under this formula, as modified and extended by a presidential Executive Order issued in 1986, the grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM).
The Federal grazing fee is computed by using a 1966 base value of $1.23 per AUM for livestock grazing on public lands in Western states. The figure is then adjusted each year according to three factors – current private grazing land lease rates, beef cattle prices, and the cost of livestock production.  In effect, the fee rises, falls, or stays the same based on market conditions, with livestock operators paying more when conditions are better and less when conditions have declined.
Authorized (as distinguished from actual) grazing use on public lands has declined from 18.2 million AUMs in 1953 to 12.4 million AUMs authorized in 2010.

So this is what I am understanding from the BLM’s own website:

  • they do not actually conduct an official annual count of how many billable head of cattle that are grazing on public lands.
  • after all these years, they are still charging the absolute lowest amount possible to ranchers, even though beef is high in the grocery stores, inflation, private leases are much higher, etc… and the BLM’s monthly income fee is still about the same as it was in 1966.
  • they are collecting on 8.2 million AUM (according to BLM’s Rangeland Administration System), which is actually a huge decrease of REPORTED grazing since the 1950’s?   Notice that REPORTED is in all caps!

Others say there are as many as 30 million cattle on public land.

Grazing Fees Continued…

Table 1. Grazing Fees from 1981 to 2007 (dollars per AUM)*
Approx. 260 million acres (BLM & Forest Service FS) currently in grazing use. 

1981…………………$2.31
1982…………………$1.86
1983…………………$1.40
1984…………………$1.37
1985…………………$1.35
1986…………………$1.35
1987…………………$1.35
1988…………………$1.54
1989…………………$1.86
1990…………………$1.81
1991…………………$1.97
1992…………………$1.92
1993…………………$1.86
1994…………………$1.98
1995…………………$1.61
1996…………………$1.35
1997…………………$1.35
1998…………………$1.35
1999…………………$1.35
2000…………………$1.35
2001…………………$1.35
2002…………………$1.43
2003…………………$1.35
2004…………………$1.43
2005…………………$1.79
2006…………………$1.56
2007-2011…………$1.35

Meanwhile, studies show that Private Lease ranges $8 – $23 AUM*

I’m trying my very best to be polite here, but in no way does this system make any sense to me, and I am from a small hereford cattle/horse ranch in Texas.

“The only way to save the water, land and last wild horses in the American West is to remove the government’s incessantly corrupt Bureau of Land Management…” says Academy Award winner Michael Blake, author of Dances with Wolves.

*Grazing Fees: An Overview and Current Issues
from the CPS Report for Congress, June 22, 2007
http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs/RS21232.pdf