Health Assessment Finds BLM Grazing Lands to be Largely Unsuccessful

In a report by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), it has been revealed that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is not doing enough to manage the 56.7 million acres of rangeland under its control. High Country News writer Jimmy Tobias notes that high, cold deserts in Nevada, Wyoming, and southern Idaho are among the areas most affected, with 22 million acres in Nevada alone failing to meet health standards.

Tobias explains that over the past 24 years, the BLM has not conducted health assessments on nearly half of its grazing lands, and those that were evaluated did not meet standards for water quality, watershed protection, and conservation. Several factors such as overgrazing, invasive weeds, wildfires, off-road vehicle use, and drought contribute to the degradation of public lands. Additionally, a loophole in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act allows the agency to reissue grazing permits to ranchers without completing environmental reviews.

Historically, ranching interests have put pressure on the BLM to minimize efforts aimed at addressing issues like illegal grazing and other harmful practices. However, a new rule introduced by President Biden aims to expand the land health evaluation program to include all surface acreage under BLM jurisdiction in an effort to improve rangeland management.

By Samantha Johnson

As a content writer at, I craft engaging and informative articles that aim to captivate readers and provide them with valuable insights. With a background in journalism and a passion for storytelling, I thoroughly enjoy delving into diverse topics, conducting research, and producing compelling content that resonates with our audience. From breaking news pieces to in-depth features, I strive to deliver content that is both accurate and engaging, constantly seeking to bring fresh perspectives to our readers. Collaborating with a talented team of editors and journalists, I am committed to maintaining the high standards of journalism upheld by our publication.

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