R850-50. Range Management  

R850-50-100. Authorities
Latest version.

  This rule implements Sections 6, 8, 10, and 12 of the Utah Enabling Act, Articles X and XX of the Utah Constitution, and Sections 53C-1-302(1)(a)(ii) and 53C-5-102 which authorize the Director of the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration to establish rules prescribing standards and conditions for the utilization of forage, the qualifications of a grazing permittee, and related improvement of range resources on trust lands.

R850-50-150. Planning
Latest version.

  1. Pursuant to Section 53C-2-201(1)(a), the issuance of grazing permits carries no planning obligations by the agency beyond existing rule-based analysis and approval processes.

  2. Range improvement projects authorized pursuant to this section carry the following planning obligations beyond existing rule-based analysis and approval processes:

  (a) to the extent required by the Memorandum of Understanding with the State Planning Coordinator, the agency shall submit the proposal for review by the Resource Development Coordinating Committee (RDCC); and

  (b) evaluate and respond to comments received through the RDCC process.

  3. Applications for modified grazing permits which do not involve surface disturbing activities are governed by paragraph 1, above. Applications for modified grazing permits which involve surface disturbing activities are subject to the planning obligations set forth in paragraph 2, above.

R850-50-200. Grazing Management
Latest version.

  1. Management of trust lands used for grazing purposes is based upon carrying capacity which permits optimum forage utilization and seeks to maintain or improve range conditions.

  2. Carrying capacity shall be established after consideration of historical stocking rates, forage utilization, range condition, trend, and climatic conditions.

  3. In order to fulfil its constitutional mandate to its beneficiaries, the agency may set, and change, at its discretion, season of use, duration (time) of use, and intensity of use, as well as numbers, distribution, and kind of livestock which are allowed by a grazing permit.

R850-50-300. Applications
Latest version.

  1. Grazing permit applications may be accepted on all trust lands not otherwise subject to a grazing permit unless the land has been withdrawn from grazing or has been determined to be unsuitable for grazing.

  2. Trust lands may be deemed unsuitable for grazing if it is determined that:

  (a) range conditions render it incapable of supporting economic grazing practices;

  (b) grazing would substantially interfere with another use that is better able to provide for the support of the beneficiaries; or

  (c) the agency's management costs would be excessive.

  3. The determination to accept grazing permit applications is at the sole discretion of the director.

R850-50-400. Permit Approval Process
Latest version.

  1. On trust lands that are unpermitted and which are available for grazing, applications may be solicited through any method the agency determines appropriate, including notification of adjacent landowners and other permittees in an allotment.

  2. On trust lands subject to an expiring grazing permit, competing applications shall be accepted from April 1 to April 30, or the next working day if either of these days is a weekend or holiday, of the year in which the permit terminates.

  (a) All expiring and terminated grazing permits shall be posted on the agency's website by January 1 of the year in which the permit expires or the year after the permit was terminated, provided that the permitted property has been determined to be available for grazing by the agency. The website notice shall include any reimbursable investment made by an existing permittee on a range improvement. Notice that expiring grazing permits may be found on the agency's website may also be published.

  (b) Grazing permits issued on trust lands acquired through an exchange with the federal government (after the expiration of the federal permit) shall not be subject to the provisions of this rule for two successive 15-year terms unless the permit has been sold or otherwise terminated.

  3. A person holding an expiring grazing permit shall have the right to renew the permit, provided that no competing applications are received, by submitting a completed application along with the first year's rent and other applicable fees.

  4. Persons desiring to submit a competing application must do so on forms acceptable to the agency. Forms are available at the offices listed in R850-6-200(2)(b) or from the agency's website. Applications must include:

  (a) a non-refundable application fee;

  (b) a one-time bonus bid; and

  (c) an amount determined by the agency pursuant to R850-50-1100(7), which will be required to reimburse the holder of an authorized range improvement project should the competing application be accepted.

  5. Bonus bids and range improvement reimbursements shall be refunded to unsuccessful applicants. Upon establishment of the yearly rental rate, the successful applicant shall be required to submit the first year's rental and other required fees.

  6. Applications shall be evaluated by the agency and may be accepted only if the agency determines that the applicant's grazing activity will not create unmanageable problems of trespass, range and resource management, or access.

  (a) For purposes of this evaluation, adjoining permittees and lessees, adjoining property owners, and adjoining federal permittees may be considered acceptable as competing applicants unless specific problems are demonstrated.

  (b) Applicants not meeting the requirements in (a) above, whose uses would not unreasonably conflict with the uses of other permittees in the area, may nevertheless be accepted if the size of the grazing area, the access to the grazing area, and other factors demonstrate that the applicant is able to utilize the area without adverse impact on the range resources, adjoining lands, or beneficiaries of affected trust lands.

  (c) For purposes of evaluating an applicant's acceptability as a grazing permittee, the agency may consider:

  (i) the applicant's ability to maintain any water rights appurtenant to the lands described in the application;

  (ii) the applicant's ownership of private land in the area;

  (iii) the applicant's ownership of grazing privileges in the BLM or Forest Service allotment where the trust land is located;

  (iv) the type and number of livestock owned by the applicant; and

  (v) management costs to the agency should the application be approved.

  7. The holder of a permit which is expiring, on which a competing application has been received, shall have a preference right to permit the property provided he agrees to pay an amount equal to the highest bonus bid submitted by a competing applicant.

  (a) In the event that the existing permittee fails to match the highest bonus bid, the permittee may be refunded the value of the amount the permittee contributed to the cost of any approved range improvement project at the expense of the successful bonus bid applicant.

  (b) In the event that all, or a portion of, the property on which a bonus bid was submitted is sold, exchanged, or otherwise made unavailable, the permittee shall receive the refund of a prorated amount of the bonus bid based on the AUMs lost to the use of the permittee.

R850-50-500. AUM Assessments and Annual Adjustments
Latest version.

  1. An annual assessment shall be charged for each AUM authorized by the agency. This assessment shall be established by the board and shall be reviewed annually and adjusted if appropriate.

  2. The annual assessment for lands designated as "High Value Grazing Lands" will be at a higher amount than trust lands not so designated. High Value Grazing Lands are typically, but not necessarily, contained in a named land block. Blocked or scattered lands may be designated as High Value Grazing Land through a Director's Finding.

  3. In the event that the agency acquires High Value Grazing Lands through an exchange with the federal government, the application of the agency's annual assessment to the holders of grazing privileges on the acquired land shall be phased in over a five-year period in equal increments after the term of the federal permit has expired.

  4. The application of the agency's annual assessment on lands acquired through an exchange with the federal government, and not designated as High Value Grazing Lands, shall be phased in over a three-year period in equal increments after the term of the federal permit has expired.

  5. Failure to pay the annual assessment within the time prescribed shall automatically work a forfeiture and termination of the permit and all rights thereunder.

R850-50-600. Grazing Permit Terms
Latest version.

  1. Grazing permits shall be issued for a maximum of 15 years and shall contain the following:

  (a) terms, conditions, and provisions that shall protect the interests of the trust beneficiaries with reference to securing the payment to the agency of all amounts owed;

  (b) terms, conditions, and provisions that shall protect the range resources from improper and unauthorized grazing uses; and

  (c) other terms, conditions, and provisions that may be deemed necessary by the agency or board in effecting the purpose of these rules and not inconsistent with any of its provisions.

  2. The agency may terminate or suspend grazing permits, in whole or in part, after 30 days' notice by certified mail to the permittee when:

  (a) a violation of the terms of the permit, or of these rules, including trespass as defined in R850-50-1400, has occurred;

  (b) the agency, in its sole discretion, has identified a higher and better use for the permitted property;

  (c) the agency intends to dispose of the permitted property; or

  (d) any management problems arise as determined at the sole discretion of the agency.

R850-50-700. Reinstatements
Latest version.

  Trust land on which a grazing permit has been terminated and which is ineligible for reinstatement pursuant to R850-5-500(1)(c) may be advertised as available pursuant to R850-50-400(2). If the agency does not advertise the property, the person previously holding the permit may apply for a new permit by submitting an application and all applicable fees.

R850-50-800. Grazing Permits--Legal Effect
Latest version.

  1. A grazing permit transfers neither right, title, or interest in any lands or resources, nor any exclusive right of possession and grants only the authorized utilization of forage.

  2. Locked gates on trust land, without written approval, are prohibited. If such approval is granted, keys shall be supplied to the agency and other appropriate parties requiring access to the area as approved by the agency, including those with fire and regulatory responsibilities.

R850-50-900. Non-Use Provisions
Latest version.

  1. The granting of non-use shall be at the discretion of the agency.

  2. Applications for non-use must be submitted in advance or, if the trust land is within a federal grazing allotment, as soon as notification of non-use is received from the applicable federal agency.

  3. Applications for non-use must be accompanied by the application fee and by any documentation which is the basis for the request. In the event the non-use application is approved, any annual assessment paid for the year shall be applied to the permittee's next year's annual assessment.

  4. Non-use shall not be approved for periods of time exceeding one year except when the director finds that a longer period of time would be in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

  5. Non-use for personal convenience with no payment of the annual assessment shall not be approved.

R850-50-1000. Assignment and Subleasing of Grazing Permits
Latest version.

  1. Permittee shall not assign, or sublease, in whole or in part, or otherwise transfer, dispose of, or encumber any interest in a permit without the written consent of the agency. To do so shall automatically, and without notice, work the forfeiture and termination of the permit.

  2. The approval of a sublease shall be subject to the following restrictions:

  (a) An annual assessment equal to 50% of the difference between the base AUM assessment established under R850-50-500, and the AUM payment received by the permittee through the sublease, multiplied by the number of AUMs subleased, or a $1.00 per AUM minimum assessment, whichever is greater, shall be charged for the approval of any sublease.

  (b) Applications to sublease a grazing permit shall only be approved after a determination that the sub-lessee meets the requirements of R850-50-400(6).

  (c) Sublease approvals are valid for a maximum period of five years.

  3. The approval of an assignment shall be subject to the following restrictions:

  (a) A determination that the assignee meets the requirements of R850-50-400(6).

  (b) A payment, based on the number of AUMs transferred multiplied by $10.00, shall be paid to the agency prior to the approval of any assignment or partial assignment. Assignments made for no consideration in money, services, or goods, to include inter vivos or testamentary assignments made to immediate family members (parents, spouse, children, grandchildren, and full siblings) and assignments from and to business entities wholly owned by an immediate family member or members, may be exempt from this additional payment. In such cases, a minimum assignment fee as listed on the Master Fee Schedule shall be assessed.

  (c) For purposes of this rule, a shareholder or member of a grazing association or cooperative shall be deemed a permittee and subject to the requirements of R850-50-1000(3)(a). In order to facilitate the enforcement of this rule, each grazing association or cooperative shall submit a list of all members to the agency annually prior to June 30. This list shall include each member's contact information and the number of AUMs allowed.

  4. The agency's consent to allow a mortgage agreement or collateral assignment is for the convenience of the permittee.

  5. The mortgage agreement or collateral assignment shall:

  (a) not exceed the remaining term of the permit; and

  (b) contain an acknowledgment by the lender that the grazing permit is terminable pursuant to R850-50-600(2) and R850-50-1000(1) and that the agency assumes no liability in providing such consent.

R850-50-1100. Range Improvement Projects
Latest version.

  1. Applications for range improvement projects shall be submitted for approval on appropriate forms and shall be approved or denied by the agency based on a written finding.

  2. A range improvement project must be approved by the agency in writing before construction begins. Line cabins and similar structures will not be authorized as range improvement projects. They may, however, be authorized by a special use lease pursuant to R850-30.

  3. Agency authorization for range improvement projects shall be valid for periods of time not to exceed two years from the date the applicant is notified of the authorization. Extensions of time may be granted only when the director finds that an extension of time would be in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

  4. Range improvements constructed or placed upon trust land become the property of the agency.

  5. Range improvements shall not be authorized if they would be:

  (a) located on a parcel that the agency has determined has potential for sale, lease, or exchange and the possibility exists that improvements may encumber these actions;

  (b) located on a parcel designated for disposal;

  (c) unnecessary or uneconomical as determined by the agency; or

  (d) determined by the agency to be ordinary maintenance.

  6. Range improvements which are necessary to rehabilitate lands whose forage production has been diminished by poor grazing practices or poor stewardship of the permittee shall not be considered a reimbursable improvement but rather a requirement to keep the grazing permit in effect.

  7. Authorized Range Improvement Projects:

  (a) shall be depreciated using schedules consistent with typical schedules published by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other depreciation schedules approved by the board; and

  (b) do not grant any vested property interest to the permittee.

  8. In the event that the property, on which an approved range improvement is located is sold, exchanged, or withdrawn from use, the permittee shall receive no more than the amount the permittee contributed towards the original cost of the range improvement project, minus the indicated depreciation amount; or in the alternative, may be allowed 90 days to remove improvements pursuant to Section 53C-4-202(6).

  9. If the range improvement project is designed to increase carrying capacity, the permittee shall agree to pay for the increase in AUMs annually starting no later than two years after project completion. The agency may allow any increase in fees to be phased in at 20% per year.

  10. The agency may participate in the cost of designated range improvement projects, or maintenance of existing range improvement projects, by providing funding in amounts and at rates determined by the agency.

  11. The agency's cost/share portion of the project may be in the form of project materials. In these instances, the permittee shall be required to provide all necessary equipment and manpower to complete the project to specifications required by the agency.

R850-50-1200. Additional Leases
Latest version.

If the agency determines that there is unused forage available on a parcel of trust land resulting from temporary conditions, it may issue an additional permit or permits. These permit(s) shall be issued in accordance to R850-50-400. Existing permittees shall have a first right of refusal to unused forage.

R850-50-1300. Rights Reserved to the Agency
Latest version.

  In all grazing permits, the agency shall expressly reserve the right to:

  1. issue mineral leases, special use leases, timber sales, materials permits, easements, rights-of-entry, and any other interest in the trust land;

  2. issue permits for the harvesting of seed from plants on the trust land. If loss of use occurs from harvesting activities, a credit for the amount of loss shall be made to the following year's assessment;

  3. enter upon and inspect the trust land or to allow scientific studies upon trust land at any reasonable time;

  4. allow the public the right to use the trust land for purposes and periods of time permitted by policy and rules. However, nothing in these rules purports to authorize trespass on private land to reach trust land;

  5. require that all water rights on trust land be filed in the name of the agency and to require express written approval prior to the conveyance of water off trust land;

  6. require a permittee, when an agency-owned water right is associated with the grazing permit, to ensure that the water right, to the extent allowed under the permit, is maintained in compliance with state law;

  7. close roads for the purpose of range or road protection, or other administrative purposes;

  8. dispose of the property without compensation to the permittee, subject to R850-50-1100(7); and

  9. terminate the grazing permit pursuant to R850-50-600(2).

R850-50-1400. Trespass
Latest version.

  1. Unauthorized activities which occur on trust land shall be considered trespass and damages shall be assessed pursuant to 53C-2-301. These activities include:

  (a) the use of forage at times and at places not authorized by the permit;

  (b) the use of forage in excess of that authorized by the permit;

  (c) grazing or trailing livestock on or across trust land without a valid permit or right-of-entry;

  (d) the dumping of garbage or any other material on the trust land; and

  (e) allowing another person to graze or trail livestock on the permitted property without the express written consent of the agency.

  2. The permittee shall cooperate with the agency in taking civil action against the owners of trespass livestock to recover damages for lost forage and other damages.

R850-50-1500. Trailing Livestock Across Trust Land
Latest version.

  1. The trailing of livestock across trust land by a person not holding a grazing permit may be authorized if no other reasonable means of access is available.

  2. Written approval in the form of a right-of-entry shall be obtained in advance from the agency.

  3. The authorization to trail livestock across trust land shall restrict and limit the route, the number and type of animals, and the time and duration, which shall not exceed two consecutive days, of the trailing.

R850-50-1600. Modified Grazing Permit
Latest version.

  1. At the discretion of the director, the agency may issue modified grazing permits in instances where the proposed use is grazing related but is more intensive than livestock grazing alone and when improvements, if any, are primarily temporary in nature. Such uses may include camps, corrals, feed yards, irrigated livestock pastures, or other related uses.

  2. Modified grazing permits shall be subject to the following terms and conditions:

  (a) The term of a modified grazing permit shall be no longer than 15 years and contain terms, conditions, and provisions the agency, in its discretion, deems necessary to protect the interest of the trust beneficiaries.

  (b) A modified grazing permit is subject to termination pursuant to R850-50-600(2).

  (c) The annual rental for a modified grazing permit shall be based on the fair market value of the permitted property. Fair market value of the permitted property and annual rental rates shall be determined by the agency pursuant to R850-30-400. Periodic rental reviews may be completed pursuant to R850-30-400(5).

  (d) Upon termination of the modified grazing permit, the permittee shall be allowed 90 days to remove any personal property.

  (e) Prior to the issuance of a modified grazing permit, or for good cause shown at any time during the term of the modified grazing permit, the applicant or permittee may be required to post a bond with the agency in the form and amount as may be determined by the agency to assure compliance with all terms and conditions of the permit. Any bond posted pursuant to this rule is subject to R850-30-800(2) through (4).

R850-50-1700. Supplemental Feeding
Latest version.

  1. Supplemental livestock feeding may be permitted subject to:

  (a) written authorization by the agency;

  (b) the designation of a specific area, length of time, number, and class of livestock; and

  (c) a determination that this shall not inflict long term damage upon the property.

  2. The agency may assess an additional fee for authorized supplemental feeding or may require the permittee to obtain a modified grazing permit.

  3. Emergency supplemental feeding shall be allowed for ten days prior to notification.

  4. The forage used for supplemental feeding shall be certified weed free.