Economic impacts often are cited as justification both for and against changes in grazing policy on public lands. A recent study conducted in Owyhee County, Idaho, illustrates a process to gather ranch-level economic information, develop economic models for different ranching systems, and use the models to estimate economic impacts of grazing policy changes. Ranch-level models were developed from producer panels and interviews within the county. Costs and returns, livestock production information, dependency on public lands, and other factors relative to ranch-level economics were gathered in four meetings with livestock producers and other interested parties. Results indicate that, as dependency on federal lands rise, both costs and returns fall. Ranch-level economic impacts of alternative grazing policy scenarios also are detailed.


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