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Process for renewing BLM grazing permits is extensive; lawsuits and appeals raise the bar, add time for review

Shoshone, ID

Many ranchers in Idaho have base property where they typically graze cattle or sheep on the home ranch in the winter and provide shelter for calving and lambing operations. In the summer, ranchers move their livestock to graze on public lands grazing allotments managed by the Bureau of Land Management or U.S. Forest Service.

Public grazing allotments are critical to the overall grazing operation -- they've been an integral part of ranching in the West since the turn of the century -- but nowadays, ranchers are finding that the renewal process for BLM grazing permits is becoming much more extensive and time-consuming. This story provides insight into how the process works, what’s involved, and what has changed.

To qualify to graze livestock on public lands, ranchers must first obtain a special use permit. Grazing permits have to be renewed every 10 years, as required by federal law.

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