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Grazing fees in South Dakota, other states remain as is

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The federal grazing fee for 2024 remains $1.35 per animal unit month for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and $1.35 per head month for lands managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service.

An animal unit month or head month – treated as equivalent measures for fee purposes – is the use of public lands by one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month. The newly calculated grazing fee takes effect March 1. The fee will apply to nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the BLM and nearly 6,250 permits administered by the Forest Service.

The formula used for calculating the grazing fee was established by Congress in the 1978 Public Rangelands Improvement Act and has remained in use under a 1986 presidential Executive Order. Under that order, the grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 per animal unit month/head month, and any increase or decrease cannot exceed 25 percent of the previous year’s level.

The fee has been set at $1.35 since 2019. Since 1981, the fee has ranged from $1.35 to $2.31, and has been set at $1.35 for about half of that 43 year period.

The grazing fee applies in 16 Western states on public lands administered by the BLM and the Forest Service.  Permit holders and lessees can contact their local BLM or Forest Service office for additional information.

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