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Rule Title: GRAZING ON CLASSIFIED FOREST LANDS
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Department: NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION, DEPARTMENT OF
Chapter: FOREST MANAGEMENT
Subchapter: State Forest Land Management
 
Latest version of the adopted rule presented in Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM):

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36.11.444    GRAZING ON CLASSIFIED FOREST LANDS

(1) The department shall inspect grazing licenses issued on classified forest trust lands before the renewal date to determine:

(a) range condition;

(b) plant species composition;

(c) riparian forage and browse utilization;

(d) streambank disturbance;

(e) presence of noxious weeds;

(f) erosion; and

(g) condition of improvements.

(2) The department shall inspect grazing licenses mid-term between renewals to determine:

(a) range condition;

(b) riparian forage and browse utilization;

(c) streambank disturbance; and

(d) overall tract conditions with an emphasis on potential concerns or problems noted during the previous renewal inspection.

(3) The department may specify grazing license stipulations any time during the term of the license.

(4) The department shall specify the number of animal unit months, type of livestock, and grazing period of use on grazing licenses for classified forest trust lands.

(5) The department shall determine stocking rates for grazing licenses using visual assessment of existing vegetative plant species composition. The department shall compare estimated species composition by weight per range site to potential (climax range condition) for specific range sites.

(6) The department shall require grazing management practices that are designed to minimize loss of riparian and streambank vegetation, and structural damage to stream banks that results in non-point source pollution for grazing licenses issued or renewed on forest classified lands.

(7) The department shall manage each grazing license to:

(a) maintain or restore both herbaceous and woody riparian species in a healthy and vigorous condition;

(b) facilitate the ability of vegetation to reproduce and maintain different age classes in the desired riparian-wetland plant communities;

(c) leave sufficient vegetation biomass and plant residue, including woody debris, to provide for adequate sediment filtering and dissipation of stream energy for bank protection; and

(d) minimize the physical damage to stream banks to a level that maintains channel stability and morphological characteristics.

(8) The department shall authorize continuous or season-long grazing only when healthy riparian conditions are maintained.

(9) The department shall direct the grazing licensees to place mineral, protein, and other supplements in areas that minimize animal concentration near riparian areas.

(10) The department shall direct grazing licensees to locate holding facilities outside of riparian areas.

(11) The department shall evaluate existing riparian use for each license during renewal and midterm inspections and may specify acceptable riparian use and streambank impact levels through stipulations in the grazing license, if necessary to meet conditions described in (6) .

(12) The licensee, with technical assistance from the department, shall mitigate or rehabilitate riparian and stream channel damage greater than the specified riparian use levels as determined pursuant to (11) .  If improved management does not resolve the damage, the department may make adjustments to the license to facilitate rehabilitation efforts.

(13) Licensees shall have primary responsibility for developing and maintaining rangeland improvements.  The licensee shall also be responsible for maintaining or improving range sites by managing livestock grazing and utilization in a manner that would produce a stable or upward trend in range condition.  The department may support rangeland improvements through technical and financial assistance, as workload and budget allow.  Rangeland improvements include, but are not limited to, riparian management, weed control, water developments, grazing management systems, and fencing.  The department and the licensee may cost-share improvements through an addendum to the license.  The addendum stipulates terms and conditions by which the licensee may be required to reimburse the state for improvement expenses incurred.

History: 77-1-202, 77-1-209, 77-5-201, 77-5-204, MCA; IMP, 77-5-116, 77-5-204, 77-5-206, 77-5-207, MCA; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 397, Eff. 3/14/03.


 

 
MAR Notices Effective From Effective To History Notes
3/14/2003 Current History: 77-1-202, 77-1-209, 77-5-201, 77-5-204, MCA; IMP, 77-5-116, 77-5-204, 77-5-206, 77-5-207, MCA; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 397, Eff. 3/14/03.
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