Community Agriculture Alliance: County accepting range improvement project proposals
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
In June 1934, Hayden area attorney, homesteader and cattleman, Farrington Carpenter, became instrumental in the process which changed livestock grazing in the West from a frontier free-for-all to a system of managed grazing on public lands.
Operating under the process defined in the Taylor Grazing Act, Carpenter (a Republican) — whose good friend Congressman Ed Taylor of Colorado (a Democrat) had initiated the legislation — oversaw the mapping of western rangelands; brought cattlemen and sheepmen together; and began the task of stopping destructive grazing practices, restoring the rangeland and adding stability to the economics of western livestock grazing.
There were plenty of conflicts in this process, but because Carpenter was a stockman himself, becoming so through his efforts of homesteading east of Hayden, he could speak their language and was familiar with their concerns. As part of the process, permittees to this day operate within Grazing Districts originally defined in 1934 under the oversight of local Grazing Advisory Boards whose membership comes from the permittees. A portion of the fees collected on an animal unit month basis is returned from the Bureau of Land Management Grazing District to the county where the grazing fees originated.
Prior to 2010, Routt County returned those fees to the Grazing District, but analysis revealed that the funds were not being spent in Routt County because technically, Routt County was not part of a Grazing District and the Routt County Board of Commissioners was designated to distribute the funds by state statute.
To facilitate the distribution of the funds within Routt County, the commissioners designated the Weed Advisory Board, to solicit range improvement projects, review the projects and recommend projects to the commissioners to be funded with the Taylor Grazing Act Funds maintained by Routt County as the Range Improvement Fund.
The Routt County Weed Advisory Board, as directed by the Routt County Board of Commissioners, is accepting range improvement project proposals to be funded with the Taylor Grazing Act funds. Projects to be considered may include the following:
- Weed control
- Fencing improvements or new construction
- Water development
- Predator control
- Livestock handling facilities
Priority will be given to BLM permittees, but not to the exclusion of other applicants where projects will benefit range management in Routt County.
All projects must be for work in Routt County to be completed in 2020, though multiyear projects are eligible if organized with annual work plans. Each proposal shall include a comprehensive project description, a map showing the work locations, an anticipated start date, a project budget including in-kind contributions and a projected completion date.
Also include a one page summary which includes: name, project type, funds requested, in-kind contribution, start date, end date and contact information, including email addresses. Submissions are due by 5 p.m. March 9, via email or mail to the office of the Routt County Weed Program, 136 Sixth St., Suite 103, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487. Contact Tiffany Carlson at email@example.com or 970-870-5246 with questions.
Greg Brown is the former supervisor of the Routt County Weed Program.
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