United States Grazing Service
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The United States Grazing Service was a part of the United States Department of the Interior that managed grazing lands and carried out the Taylor Grazing Act, which leased public land for grazing. It was later merged with the General Land Office to form the Bureau of Land Management.
When the Taylor Grazing Act was passed in 1934 by the United States Congress, an office under the Department of the Interior was also created to manage the act. It was first called the Division of Grazing, but later was renamed the U.S. Grazing Service in 1939. Its responsibilities were to enforce the act, which leased public lands to farmers and ranchers for grazing.
The Grazing Service encountered multiple problems, such as very low fees to lease land, which could not be raised due to opposition from farmers, budget reductions enacted by Congress, or unlawful use of the lands. Hoping to better control improper use of the lands, the Grazing Service moved its headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Salt Lake City, Utah.
With so much conflict surrounding the Grazing Service, the Secretary of the Interior combined the Grazing Service and the General Land Office to form the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 1946. The BLM was given the responsibilities of the former U.S. Grazing Service and General Land Office.
The BLM retained control of its laws until 1976. In that year, Congress passed the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). The FLPMA removed the responsibilities of the former General Land Office. It also changed fees and some regulations in the BLM's other set of responsibilities, which had been owned by the Grazing Service, and that are still used today.
- "Jeff Gearino of Casper Star-Tribune, "Little Snake River Valley ranching patriarch is laid to rest," January 6, 2011". Billings Gazette, Billings, Montana. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
- Encart Encyclopedia entry on "Public Lands".
- "The Bureau of Land Management" at The Thoreau Institute.
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