News Release

USDA Forest Service Moves To Clarify Grazing Permit Policy

Washington
August 16, 2005 -

U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service today released for public comment new direction for grazing permit administration. Chapters 10 and 20 in the grazing permit administration handbook, issued previously on July 19, 2005, are being withdrawn.

Portions of these chapters issued now as proposed amendments will be finalized after public comment is received, analyzed and final directives are issued. The remainder of chapters 10 and 20 that do not provide new policy direction are now in place as new interim directives.

Handbook Chapters 10 and 20 address the issuance and administration of term grazing permits and grazing agreements respectively. Chapter 10 describes the procedures to properly issue, modify, suspend and cancel term grazing permits. A term grazing permit is obtained through prior permitted use (existing permit expires), sale of base property or permitted livestock, or grant authority. Chapter 20 describes procedures specifically for grazing agreements. A grazing agreement is similar to a term grazing permit, issued to grazing associations.

The Forest Service directives and proposed directives are available to the public on the web at www.fs.fed.us/rangelands/. The agency will publish a notice of availability for the revised directives in the Federal Register, August 19, 2005, allowing for a 120-day public comment period on the interim directives and the proposed amendments. The old directives will be removed on that same day.