Utah Contains 34,000,000 acres of Forest Service, BLM and State Public Lands
Most is grazed by livestock




Cattle AUMs

Sheep AUMs

Total AUMs

National Forest





Not Available

Not Available


State Trust Land

Not Available

Not Available






AUM = forage consumption measure

1 Cow = 1.0;  1 Sheep = 0.15; 1 Deer = 0.15; 1 Elk = 0.7


Using these figures, forage consumed by livestock on our Public Lands in Utah could support  1,077,155 deer or 230,818 elk – not to mention numerous birds and mammals currently lacking habitat.


The DWR 1998 – 2003 Strategic Plan states that Wildlife Associated Recreation produced $1.15 billion in economic output in 1996 and provided 18,353 jobs.  In an economic study entitled “The Economic Importance of Federal Grazing to the Economies of the West”, Thomas M. Power, Chairman of the Economics Department of the University of Montana showed that jobs related to Federal Lands grazing in Utah totaled 1,805.  Data from the State of Utah Agricultural Statistics database showed that in 1996, gross income from sheep totaled $26,697,000 while in 1998 cash receipts for cattle totaled $303,100,000.  According to the Powers report, only  a fraction of this is from Public Lands.  Obviously, greater economic potential lies in wildlife use of our Public Lands. 


The DWR 1998 – 2003 Strategic Plan also indicates that hunting is declining in Utah because of an aging population and reduced opportunity.  Utah has one of the youngest populations in the nation and with 34,000,000 acres of Public Land should have increased opportunity, not less.   Where is the logic in just accepting this point of view?


I quit hunting and now seldom go wildlife watching in the National Forest because I am so disgusted with hiking around among cattle and sheep in dust, flies, manure, polluted water and poor habitat.  Instead I collect data, document damage and work for change.   How about you?


It is time Hunters and Wildlife Supporters drew the line and demanded an end to antiquated wildlife management that caters to a handful of livestock producers.  It is time they quit supporting the status quo and sportsmen’s groups that cater to the rich and privileged and who do not call for more of the potential of our Public Lands to be dedicated to Wildlife – not livestock!  Willow Creek Ecology is – Join Us!


Dr. John Carter, President
Willow Creek Ecology, Inc.
P.O. Box 280
Mendon, Utah 84325 or 435-753-6062