Grazing Fees on State Rangelands

States were generally allocated two sections of land out of each 36 sections (a township) for the purpose of generating income to support schools. These school sections have been treated differently by each state but are generally set aside to maximize income to the school trust. In states that have retained ownership of school sections suitable for grazing, each state has developed a somewhat different method of setting the grazing fee. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted a study in 2005 that reported the different grazing fees in the western states. These fee ranges or average fees are shown below.

State Lands Grazing Fees (2004)
State Fee Range ($/AUM) Average Fee ($/AUM) Fee Method
Arizona   2.23 Market-based appraisal with annual adjustment
California 1.35 to 12.50   Market based on average rates
Colorado 6.65 to 8.91   Market-based formula
Idaho   5.15 Formula similar to federal fee
Montana 5.48 to 80.00   Market with minimum bid
Nebraska 16.00 to 28.00   Market with minimum bid
New Mexico 0.71 to 10.15/acre   Market with minimum bid
North Dakota 1.73 to 19.69/acre   Market with minimum bid
Oklahoma 7.00 to 16.00   Market with minimum bid
Oregon   4.32 Formula based on production factors
South Dakota 3.00 to 56.00/acre   Market with minimum bid
Texas 4.16 to 12.50   Market-based appraisal
Utah   1.43 or 2.35 Formula similar to federal fee
Washington   5.41 or 7.76 Market-based formula or formula based on production factors
Wyoming   4.13 Market-based formula


Source: Government Accountability Office. 2005. Livestock Grazing - Federal Expenditures and Receipts Vary, Depending on the Agency and the Purpose of the Fee Charged. GAO-05-869. 110 p.