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.
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;
the ability of vegetation to reproduce and maintain different age classes in
the desired riparian-wetland plant communities;
sufficient vegetation biomass and plant residue, including woody debris, to
provide for adequate sediment filtering and dissipation of stream energy for
bank protection; and
the physical damage to stream banks to a level that maintains channel stability
and morphological characteristics.
department shall authorize continuous or season-long grazing only when healthy
riparian conditions are maintained.
department shall direct the grazing licensees to place mineral, protein, and
other supplements in areas that minimize animal concentration near riparian
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) .
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.