The Forest Service rangeland management directives serve as the primary basis for the internal management and are the primary source of administrative direction to Forest Service employees relative to the rangeland management program. Comprised of manual and handbook, the rangeland management directives have been in place for approximately 30 years, which is why Farm Bureau was pleased to see that USFS was making efforts to update the directives.

The proposed updates provide greater management flexibility and improves the clarity of policies and procedures to guide responsible and consistent management of Forest Service lands. The dominant topics relative to the updates include succession planning, recognized entities, conservation-oriented flexibilities, upgrading response to new laws, providing clarification on current guidelines, and expanding the section on dispute resolution. It also expands the discussion on Tribal Treaty Grazing Rights. Many of the updates helped to simplify and clarify the directives. However, there were some concerns with grazing eligibility, grasslands, and historic sites.

As with other proposed agency changes, there was a comment period open through April 17. Arizona Farm Bureau worked closely with the American Farm Bureau and Public Lands Council to review the proposed changes and submit comments.

To review the final American Farm Bureau comments, click here: Grazing.USFSRangeland.AFBFCOMS.04.16.21.FINAL.pdf