Urbanization causes cuts in grazing allotments | PostIndependent.com
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Urbanization causes cuts in grazing allotments

With the shift from ranching communities to increasing urbanization and the resulting expansion of recreation, the White River National Forest is reducing the amount of public land available for livestock grazing.

Land formerly allotted for grazing that will now be closed to this activity is near urbanized areas primarily in Summit, Pitkin and eastern Eagle counties.

An evaluation of 51 vacant livestock grazing allotments was initiated in 1996, as part of the White River National Forest revision of the 1984 Land and Resource Management Plan. Many of these grazing allotments on the forest have been vacant since the 1970s and 1980s.



These allotments became vacant as permit holders who grazed sheep, goats, horses and/or cattle on public land relinquished their permits back to the government. In most cases the reason was based on economic considerations and difficulties managing livestock in high recreation areas.

Of the 51 vacant allotments, Forest Supervisor Martha Ketelle decided to close 28 and partially close eight others. The remaining 15 vacant allotments will remain that way, as they provide flexibility in managing the forest.



Some of these allotments are adjacent to active allotments, and should demand for grazing increase, they could be used for this purpose. These allotments could also be used in the event of severe drought or to resolve conflicts with other uses.

Factors in making this decision included suitability for grazing, accessibility and proximity to active allotments and ranching operations, demand for grazing and other resource needs. Many of the grazing allotments that historically provided a logical addition to adjacent ranches are no longer practical as ranches have been sold and subdivided. This decision does not impact existing livestock operations on the forest.With the shift from ranching communities to increasing urbanization and the resulting expansion of recreation, the White River National Forest is reducing the amount of public land available for livestock grazing.

Land formerly allotted for grazing that will now be closed to this activity is near urbanized areas primarily in Summit, Pitkin and eastern Eagle counties.

An evaluation of 51 vacant livestock grazing allotments was initiated in 1996, as part of the White River National Forest revision of the 1984 Land and Resource Management Plan. Many of these grazing allotments on the forest have been vacant since the 1970s and 1980s.

These allotments became vacant as permit holders who grazed sheep, goats, horses and/or cattle on public land relinquished their permits back to the government. In most cases the reason was based on economic considerations and difficulties managing livestock in high recreation areas.

Of the 51 vacant allotments, Forest Supervisor Martha Ketelle decided to close 28 and partially close eight others. The remaining 15 vacant allotments will remain that way, as they provide flexibility in managing the forest.

Some of these allotments are adjacent to active allotments, and should demand for grazing increase, they could be used for this purpose. These allotments could also be used in the event of severe drought or to resolve conflicts with other uses.

Factors in making this decision included suitability for grazing, accessibility and proximity to active allotments and ranching operations, demand for grazing and other resource needs. Many of the grazing allotments that historically provided a logical addition to adjacent ranches are no longer practical as ranches have been sold and subdivided. This decision does not impact existing livestock operations on the forest.


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