Cross-posted from Wikipedia
Grazing rights is a legal term referring to the right of a user to allow their livestock to feed (graze) in a given area.
Though grazing rights have never been codified in United States law, the concept of such rights descends from the English concept of the commons, a piece of land over which people — often neighboring landowners — could exercise one of a number of traditional rights, including livestock grazing. Prior to the 19th century, the traditional practice of grazing open rangeland in the United States was rarely disputed due to the sheer amount of unsettled open land. However, as the population of the western United States increased in the mid-to-late 19th century, range wars often erupted over ranchers’ perceived rights to graze their cattle as western rangelands deteriorated with overuse.
In 1934, the Taylor Grazing Act formally set out the federal government’s powers and policy on grazing federal lands by establishing the Division of Grazing and procedures for issuing permits to graze federal lands for a fixed period of time. The Division of Grazing was renamed the U.S. Grazing Service in 1939, and then merged in 1946 with the General Land Office to become the Bureau of Land Management, which along with the United States Forest Service oversees public lands grazing in 16 western states today. However, grazing was never established as a legal right in the U.S., and the Taylor Grazing Act authorized only the permitted use of lands designated as available for livestock grazing while specifying that grazing permits “convey no right, title, or interest” to such lands. Although the regulations stipulated by the Taylor Grazing Act apply only to grazing on Bureau of Land Management lands, the Chief of the Forest Service is authorized to permit or suspend grazing on Forest Service administered property, and many Forest Service grazing regulations resemble those of the Taylor Grazing Act.
- ^ Merrill, K.R. 2002. Public Lands and Political Meaning: Ranchers, the Government, and the Property Between Them. Berkeley: University of California Press, p. 183.
- ^ Fleischner, T. L. 2009. Livestock grazing and wildlife conservation in the American West: historical, policy and conservation biology perspectives. Wild Rangelands: Conserving Wildlife While Maintaining Livestock in Semi-Arid Ecosystems (eds J. T. du Toit, R. Kock and J. C. Deutsch). Chidester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, p. 235-265. pdoi: 10.1002/9781444317091.
- ^ Donahue D. 2005. Western grazing: the capture of grass, ground, and government. Environmental Law 35:721-806.
- ^ United States Code of Federal Regulations 4130.2 (c) Retrieved from http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr;sid=65dfe1cec94944c989e83b4eb39cd3ba;rgn=div5;view=text;node=43%3A188.8.131.52.92;idno=43;cc=ecfr#PartTop
- ^ United States Code of Federal Regulations 36 § 222.1-54.
Link to original Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grazing_rights