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Abstract

A panel of professionals from the ranching, environmental, agency, and university communities was assembled to examine trends relating to the future of grazing on federal lands. Five factors were identified that were thought to influence the use of grazed forages over the next 20 years. These factors were (1) multiple uses of public land, (2) public sentiment towards grazing on public lands, (3) environmental and federal agency regulations, (4) permittee issues, and (5) use of science and technology for managing public land grazing. A list of issues associated with each of the five factors was concurrently developed. The panel of experts was surveyed to explore the future direction each issue would take and the influence each issue may exert on grazing on public lands. All four groups were fairly consistent on the way they viewed the future of grazing on public lands. The most likely scenario includes (1) a significant increase in the demand for multiple uses on public lands, (2) a continued public sentiment against grazing on public lands, (3) and increase in the regulations, and their enforcement, that will negatively impact livestock grazing on the majority of allotments, (4) a continued demand or slight decline in rancher demand for grazing on public lands, and (5) a significant increase in the use of science and technology for managing public land grazing.

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