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e-CFR data is current as of October 22, 2020

Title 36Chapter IIPart 222 → Subpart C


Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property
PART 222—RANGE MANAGEMENT


Subpart C—Grazing Fees


Contents
§222.50   General procedures.
§222.51   National Forests in 16 Western States.
§222.52   National Grasslands.
§222.53   Grazing fees in the East—noncompetitive procedures.
§222.54   Grazing fees in the East—competitive bidding.

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 551; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 43 U.S.C. 1751, 1752, 1901; E.O. 12548 (51 FR 5985).

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§222.50   General procedures.

(a) Fees shall be charged for all livestock grazing or livestock use of National Forest system lands, or other lands under Forest Service control. An exception is livestock authorized free of charge under provisions of §222.3(c)(2)(ii) (B) through (G).

(b) Guiding establishment of fees are the law and general governmental policy as established by Bureau of the Budget (now, Office of Management and Budget) Circular A-25 of September 23, 1959, which directs that a fair market value be obtained for all services and resources provided the public through establishment of a system of reasonable fee charges, and that the users be afford equitable treatment. This policy precludes a monetary consideration in the fee structure for any permit value that may be capitalized into the permit holder's private ranching operation.

(c) A grazing fee shall be charged for each head month of livestock grazing or use. A head month is a month's use and occupancy of range by one animal, except for sheep or goats. A full head month's fee is charged for a month of grazing by adult animals; if the grazing animal is weaned or 6 months of age or older at the time of entering National Forest System lands; or will become 12 months of age during the permitted period of use. For fee purposes 5 sheep or goats, weaned or adult, are equivalent to one cow, bull, steer, heifer, horse, or mule.

(d) No additional charge will be made for the privilege of lambing upon National Forest System lands, or other lands under Forest Service control.

(e) Transportation livestock may be charged for at a special rate, and at a minimum established for such use. Fees for horses, mules, or burros associated with management of permitted livestock on an allotment, or for research purposes and administrative studies, and authorized on a charge basis, are determined under provisions of paragraph (b) of this section.

(f) The fees for trailing livestock across National Forest System lands will conform with the rates established for other livestock. Where practicable, fees for trailing permitted livestock will be covered in the regular grazing fee and the crossing period covered in the regular grazing period.

(g) All fees for livestock grazing or livestock use of National Forest System lands or other lands under Forest Service control are payable in advance of the opening date of the grazing period, entry, or livestock use unless otherwise authorized by the Chief, Forest Service.

(h) Unauthorized grazing use rate will be determined by establishing a base value without giving consideration for those contributions normally made by the permittee under terms of the grazing permit. The base will be adjusted annually by the same indexes used to adjust the regular fee. This rate will also apply to excess number of livestock grazing by permittees; to livestock grazed outside the permitted grazing season; or to livestock grazed under an unvalidated permit.

(i) Refunds or credits may be allowed under justifiable conditions and circumstances as the Chief, Forest Service, may specify.

(j) The fee year for the purpose of charging grazing fees will be March 1 through the following February.

(k) The data year for the purpose of collecting beef cattle price data for computing indexes will be November 1 through the following October and apply to the following fee year.

[44 FR 24843, Apr. 27, 1979, as amended at 46 FR 42450, Aug. 21, 1981; 53 FR 2984, Feb. 2, 1988]

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§222.51   National Forests in 16 Western States.

(a) Grazing fees are established on lands designated National Forests and Land Utilization Projects in the 16 contiguous Western States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. (National Grasslands are excluded, see §222.52.)

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of §222.50, paragraph (b), the calculated grazing fee for 1988 and subsequent grazing fee years represents the economic value of the use of the land to the user and is the product of multiplying the base fair market value of $1.23 by the result of the annual Forage Value Index, added to the sum of the Beef Cattle Price Index minus the Prices Paid Index and divided by 100; provided, that the annual increase or decrease in such fee for any given year shall be limited to not more than plus or minus 25 percent of the previous year's fee, and provided further, that the fee shall not be less than $1.35 per head per month. The indexes used in this formula are as follows:

(1) Forage Value Index means the weighted average estimate of the annual rental charge per head per month for pasturing cattle on private rangelands in the 11 Western States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) (computed by the National Agricultural Statistics Service) from the June Enumerative Survey) divided by $3.65 per head month and multiplied by 100;

(2) Beef Cattle Price Index means the weighted average annual selling price for beef cattle (excluding calves) in the 11 Western States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) (computed by the National Agricultural Statistics Service) for November through October (computed by the National Agricultural Statistics Service) divided by $22.04 per hundred weight and multiplied by 100; and

(3) Prices Paid Index means the following selected components from the National Agricultural Statistics Service “Annual National Index of Prices Paid by Farmers for Goods and Services” adjusted by the weights indicated in parentheses to reflect livestock production costs in the Western States:

1. Fuels and Energy (14.5);

2. Farm and Motor Supplies (12.0);

3. Autos and Trucks (4.5);

4. Tractors and Self-Propelled Machinery (4.5);

5. Other Machinery (12.0);

6. Building and Fencing Materials (14.5);

7. Interest (6.0);

8. Farm Wage Rates (14.0);

9. Farm Services (18.0).

[44 FR 24843, Apr. 27, 1979, as amended at 53 FR 2984, Feb. 2, 1988]

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§222.52   National Grasslands.

Grazing fees for National Grasslands will be established under concepts and principles similar to those in §222.51(b).

[44 FR 24843, Apr. 27, 1979]

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§222.53   Grazing fees in the East—noncompetitive procedures.

(a) Scope. Except as provided in §222.54 of this subpart, the fee charged for commercial livestock grazing use and occupancy on National Forest System (NFS) lands in the States of New York, Missouri, Vermont, West Virginia, and in the Southern Region shall be determined through noncompetitive, fair market value procedures. These rules do not apply to grazing fees on National Forest System lands in Oklahoma or National Grasslands in Texas. Grazing permits under the noncompetitive fee method in the East are subject to the rules governing grazing permit administration in Subpart A of this part.

(b) Applicability. The rules of this section apply to the establishment of grazing fees for existing permittees in the Eastern and Southern Regions on National Forest System lands, including grazing associations in New York and Missouri as of March 1, 1990, to any livestock on-and-off permits defined in Subpart A of this part; and to any allotments advertised for competitive bidding which were not bid on (§222.54(h)). Noncompetitive permits vacated or terminated by an existing permittee and any new allotments created after the effective date of this rule shall be offered on a competitive bid basis as specified in §222.54 of this subpart. As provided in subpart A of this part, holders of term permits have first priority for receipt of a new permit.

(c) Fee System. The grazing fee charged under this section shall be based on fair market value, as determined by: Using comparable private grazing lease rates, adjusted for the difference in the costs of grazing comparable private leased lands and National Forest System lands, or by reference to prevailing prices in competitive markets for other Federal or State leased grazing lands that are the same or substantially similar to grazing lands offered or administered by the Forest Service in the East with comparability adjustments as appropriate. Comparable grazing lease rates shall be adjusted for the difference between the total costs of operating on leased grazing lands and the total costs (other than grazing fee costs) of operating on National Forest System lands.

(1) Establishing Base Grazing Value. (i) The Chief of the Forest Service, or an authorized officer to whom such authority has been delegated, shall determine an estimated base market value of grazing use and occupancy on National Forest System lands in the Eastern States for the following designated subregions:

(A) Corn Belt (Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio);

(B) Lake States (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin);

(C) Northeast (Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont);

(D) Appalachia (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia);

(E) Southeast/Delta (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas); and

(F) Florida.

(ii) The Chief or authorized officer shall revise or update estimated market values of grazing use and occupancy, as necessary to respond to significant changes in the agricultural economy in the East, and to ensure that fees represent fair market value.

(iii) The Chief, or an authorized officer to whom authority has been delegated, where sufficient market data exist, may establish the base grazing value for grazing allotments using comparable, local lease rates for private grazing lands.

(2) Annual Adjustment of Base Grazing Value. To maintain currency with the private grazing lease market, the respective base grazing value(s) established for grazing permits under this section shall be annually adjusted through a hay price index, by respective subregion. The hay price index means the weighted average selling price of “other baled hay,” computed by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, by designated State and subregion. This index shall be based on 3-year average hay prices and annually reflect the percentage change in the cost of alternative livestock feed.

(3) Computation of Annual Grazing Fee—(i) Annual Fee Basis. The annual grazing fee shall equal the base grazing value, adjusted by the current period's hay price index, less the value of any agency required range improvements.

(ii) Grazing Fee Credits for Range Improvements. Any requirements for permittee construction or development of range improvements shall be identified through an agreement and incorporated into the grazing permit, with credits for such improvements to be allowed toward the annual grazing fee. Fee credits shall be allowed only for range improvements which the Forest Service requires an individual permittee to construct or develop on a specific allotment to meet the management direction and prescriptions in the relevant forest land and resource management plan and allotment management plan. These improvements must involve costs which the permittee would not ordinarily incur under the grazing permit, must be of tangible public benefit, and must enhance management of vegetation for resource protection, soil productivity, riparian, watershed, and wetland values, wildlife and fishery habitat, or outdoor recreation values. Maintenance of range improvements specified in allotment management planning documents or the grazing permit, and other costs incurred by the permittee in the ordinary course of permitted livestock grazing, do not qualify for grazing fee credits.

(4) Implementation. The grazing fee formula provided by this section shall be used to calculate fees for the 1990 grazing fee year. Where implementation would raise fees, the increase shall be phased in over a 5-year period. Full fair market value will be reached in 5 years, beginning in 1990.

[55 FR 2650, Jan. 26, 1990]

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§222.54   Grazing fees in the East—competitive bidding.

(a) General Procedures—(1) Applicability. The rules of this section apply to grazing fees for any allotment established or vacated on National Forest System lands in the Eastern or Southern Regions, as of February 26, 1990 as well as to grazing fees for existing allotments for such lands that have already been established under competitive procedures as of the date of this rule. Permits offered for competitive bidding in the East are subject to the rules governing grazing permit administration in subpart A of this part. The rules of this section do not apply to negotiated livestock use permits or permits with on-and-off grazing provisions as authorized in subpart A of this part. Holders of term permits have first priority for receipt of a new term grazing permit in accordance with subpart A of this part. These rules also do not apply to grazing fees on National Forest System lands in Oklahoma or National Grasslands in Texas.

(2) Allowable Bidders. Bids for grazing permits shall be accepted from individuals, partnerships, grazing associations (formed after February 26, 1990), joint ventures, corporations, and organizations.

(b) Establishment of Minimum Bid Price. Authorized officers shall establish a minimum bid price for each available allotment as described in §222.53 of this subpart.

(c) Prospectus. (1) At such time as allotments are vacated, as new allotments are established, or as existing competitively bid permits expire, the authorized officer shall prepare and advertise a prospectus for those allotments on which grazing will be permitted.

(2) The prospectus shall include the terms and conditions of occupancy and use under the grazing permit to be issued, as well as document existing improvements and their condition. The prospectus shall also disclose the following:

(i) Estimated market value of the forage per head month of grazing use;

(ii) The minimum bid price the agency will accept;

(iii) Any required range improvements; and

(iv) The minimum qualifications that applicants must meet to be eligible for a permit.

(3) Copies of the applicable grazing permit, allotment management planning documents and allotment maintenance requirements, and the latest annual permittee instructions shall be made available to all prospective bidders upon request.

(d) Submission of bid. Each applicant shall submit an application for the grazing permit, along with a sealed bid for the grazing fee, and a bid deposit of 10 percent of the total amount of the bid.

(e) Qualifications and Deposit Refunds. Upon opening applicants bids, the authorized officer shall determine whether each bidder meets the qualifications to hold a permit as set forth in Subpart A of this part; and shall refund the deposit to any applicant who is not qualified or who does not offer the high bid.

(f) Permit Issuance. The authorized officer shall issue the grazing permit to the qualified high bidder, except as provided in paragraphs (f)(1) and (2) of this section. The successful bidder receives the privilege of obtaining or renewing a grazing permit and is billed for the occupancy offered and forage sold.

(1) Priority for Reissuance. On allotments where a current permit is expiring and competition has been held on a new grazing permit, the current grazing permittee shall have priority for retaining the permit. Accordingly, an applicant who holds the permit on the allotment under bid, who has a satisfactory record of performance under that permit, and who is not the higher bidder for the future grazing privileges in the specified allotment shall be offered the opportunity to match the high bid and thereby retain the permit. Should there be more than one existing permittee in the allotment under bid, each shall be offered the option of meeting the high bid; if only one current permittee opts to meet the high bid, the remaining allowable grazing use, if any, shall be awarded to the initial high bidder.

(2) Identical Bids. In cases of identical bids, the selection of the successful applicant shall be made through a drawing.

(g) Computation of Successful Bidder's Annual Fee—(1) Annual Fee Basis. The highest bid received shall establish the base grazing value in the initial year of the grazing permit for each allotment offered. The annual grazing fee shall equal the base grazing value, adjusted by the current period's hay price index for the relevant subregion as described in §222.53(c)(1), and (c)(3), less the value of any agency required range improvements. This hay price index shall be based on 3-year average hay prices and annually reflect the percent change in the cost of alternative livestock feed.

(2) Grazing Fee Credits for Range Improvements. Any requirements for permittee construction or development of range improvements shall be identified through an agreement and incorporated into the grazing permit, with credits for such improvements to be allowed toward the annual grazing fee. Fee credits shall be allowed only for range improvements which the Forest Service requires an individual permittee to construct or develop on a specific allotment to meet the management direction and prescriptions in the relevant forest land and resource management plan and allotment management plan. These improvements must involve costs which the permittee would not ordinarily incur under the grazing permit, must be of tangible public benefit, and must enhance management of vegetation for resource protection, soil productivity, riparian, watershed, and wetland values, wildlife and fishery habitat, or outdoor recreation values. Maintenance of range improvements specified in allotment management planning documents or the grazing permit, and other costs incurred by the permittee in the ordinary course of permitted livestock grazing, do not qualify for grazing fee credits.

(h) No Bids Received. If qualified sealed bids are not received, the authorized officer reserves the right to conduct an oral auction using the minimum bid price established under paragraph (b) of this section or to establish grazing fees through noncompetitive grazing fee procedures specified in §222.53 of this subpart.

[55 FR 2651, Jan. 26, 1990]

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