Loss of grazing lands to higher yield “glamping” alarms Utah ranchers

    Photo by Stijn te Strake on Unsplash

    As local and state budgets tighten, officials look for ways to refill the coffers. One way to do this is to replace low return land uses with higher yield options, like this shift in focus in a rural Utah county. And though the focus here is on glamping, if the idea works, could it mean replacing grazing lands with regular campgrounds and adding much-needed campsites for RV travelers?

    Rural leaders in Utah who often chafe at how federal officials manage public lands are now also growing frustrated with state authorities who are increasingly canceling grazing permits in favor of more profitable land uses, reported KSL.

    In one case, Garfield County passed an ordinance that would temporarily block a planned $200 million tent resort for high-end glamour camping, or “glamping,” on former grazing land, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

    The development would sit a few miles from Lake Powell and could bring in thousands of new jobs, as well as $26 million into the school lands trust, according to Kim Christy, deputy director at the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.

    The land previously brought in $140 a year from a grazing lease.

    But for county leaders, the cancellation of that lease is part of a trend that threatens their way of life.

    Garfield County Commissioner Leland Pollock said just 3.5% of the land in the county is privately owned, so ranchers are dependent on grazing leases to feed their animals.

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    Kevin in MN
    1 year ago

    A quick review of BLM leases proves these ranchers and others in similar situations (oil fields, mining, etc) may be the largest benefactors of “welfare” in this country. The arrogance of these priveledged few in fighting off (both literally and figuratively) more fair distribution of resources wouldn’t be tolerated of any other demographic.

    Philip H. Wood
    1 year ago

    I have been down this road before. These people want to preserve their way of life, but it would not be possible without being subsidized by other tax payers. Sorry, but everyone has to pay their own way.

    M H
    1 year ago

    How many Acre’s would the glamping or campsite take? 20, 30 or even 100 would be a drop in the bucket when the rancher has a lease for thousands of acre’s. Seems to me there could be a compromise by the rancher and the state.

    1 year ago

    HMmmm … let’s see … $140 a year for a grazing fee ?? Of COURSE the herd owner wants to feed his herd virtually for FREE. If ANY of the millions of $$ in potential revenue are correct, I think the herd owner better contract for feed !!