New Map shows US West Rangeland Health

Searchable BLM reports and satellite images for 20,000 grazing allotments

When the Bureau of Land Management ordered the removal of cattle from public rangeland this summer near Battle Mountain, Nevada, the state was in its third year of severe drought. Conditions were too dry to sustain the number of cattle that were grazing there, the BLM contended. Locals responded in part by announcing a “Cowboy Express” ride from Bodega Bay, California to Washington, DC to protest federal overreach and to demand that local District Manager Doug Furtado be ousted.

Disagreements like the one in Battle Mountain are hardly novel in Western politics. But this week, a new tool to understand livestock impact on public lands was thrown into the mix. Washington, DC-based non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) released an interactive map that collates over 45,000 BLM records that diagnose 20,000 allotments. The map is seven years in the making, the result of Freedom of Information Act requests PEER and Western Watersheds Project put to the BLM.

Read more at A new map shows rangeland health West-wide

Damage to the land from livestock can be seen in satellite images. Image by High Country News.
Damage to the land from livestock can be seen in satellite images. Image by High Country News.
Shaded areas indicate where rangeland has failed to meet BLM health standards between 1997 and 2013. Image by High Country News.
Shaded areas indicate where rangeland has failed to meet BLM health standards between 1997 and 2013. Image by High Country News.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *