the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934

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In the 1800’s livestock herds grew in popularity on public range lands because public range lands, at that point, had minimal investment and an overwhelming supply of free forage on the public lands. By the late 1800’s these lands were seriously overused and deteriorated. There was a call to protect the rangeland in order for future usage (Bureau of Land Management).

After many failed attempts to protect the land, The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 (TGA) which initiated permit requirements for use of public lands and specified specific grazing allotments.  significantly reduce the number of ranchers and livestock on public lands. The fees collected were inevitably returned to the grazing district for land improvement, such as fencing, water development, and efforts to facilitate vegetation in the rangeland (Bureau of Land Management).

Ranchers who were granted permits considered the Taylor Grazing Act successful in improving their grazing operations. Yet, “in some cases, this policy forced operators to make more use of private lands through purchasing or leasing private pasture. This resulted in increased overall operating costs and forced some operators to sell out.” Several unforeseen issues followed the establishment of the Taylor Grazing Act.

The act has seen many revisions and the last revision was made in 1976. As social values have shifted since 1936, grazing practices have received more scrutiny. Additionally as the population has increased, more people seek to use public lands for an array of purposes.

Today the state government still dominate and controls most of the land in Nevada and distributes the revenue generated from land management. The TGA receipts are categorized into two different sections. One section, referred to as Section 3, which grants permits, manages approximately 95% of the fiscal yield generated from grazing districts. This section applies to most of the Federal land in Nevada.Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.26.43 AM Twelve and a half percent of that is directly allocated to the state legislature, and they are responsible for dispersing these funds to the counties from which the revenue was generated. Fifty percent of the funds go straight to the grazing districts for construction, maintenance, and range improvements. Finally, 37.5% is retained by the federal government for administrative purposes (Figure #). Section 15, which manages share leases, is responsible for funds that arise from isolated grazing units. Twenty-five percent of the finances are returned to the grazing units but only for range improvements. Fifty percent is administered to the state level and is distributed by the legislature. Twenty-five percent is with held by the US Treasury for administrative purposes (Mead et al. 1995):

“The [Taylor Grazing] Act allows state legislative discretion in the allocation of the 12.5 percent from Section 3 and the 50 percent from Section 15, as long as it is for the benefit of the county from which the revenue was derived. In Nevada, the BLM provides annual payments to the State Controllers Office who distributes income to each grazing district. Grazing Advisory Boards from the districts then spend the money on range improvements and range related activities,” (Mead et al. 1995).

Bureau of Land Management. “History of Public Land Management Livestock Grazing.” Department of The Interior. 06 Dec. 2015. Web. 20 April 2016. 

Mead, Baker, Little and Thomas R. Harris. “Federal and State Land-Based Payments in Nevada.” University of Nevada, Reno Technical Report UCED 95-02 (1995). Web. 20 April 2016.

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