The Bureau of Land Management announced an initiative on Friday to provide grazing permit holders new flexibility in livestock management and protect public lands.
The effort emphasizes the White House’s goal of promoting shared conservation stewardship of public lands while supporting uses such as grazing, the BLM said in a news release.
“Farmers and ranchers know the wildlife and the land they work better than anyone,” Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in the news release. “I applaud the team at BLM for coming up with this innovative program.”
Under the demonstration program, the BLM will work with grazing permittees and other stakeholders in identifying six to 12 grazing authorizations in its first year. The new authorizations will emphasize ecological outcomes, allowing livestock managers to make adjustments in response to conditions such as drought and fire.
This effort is intended to develop and determine the effectiveness of these permits to manage livestock grazing on public lands.
The BLM administers nearly 18,000 permits and leases held by ranchers who graze their livestock on more than 21,000 allotments. Livestock grazing occurs on 155 million acres of public lands.
The BLM will solicit project proposals through its state offices with a deadline of Oct. 13.