Nearly 18,000 ranchers use public lands for grazing, but their identity often has been difficult to determine. On the heels of a Sept. 13, 2010, court decision that mandated changes in this approach, the BLM is poised to make public the names and official mailing addresses of individuals and corporations that are permittees or lessees (though not their personal phone numbers or financial information). A Federal Register notice discussing the proposal was published Dec. 29, 2010, and the public comment period closes Feb. 7, 2011.
- BLM press release, Dec. 28, 2010 (includes a link to the Federal Register notice).
If few or no changes are made to this plan, it should soon be possible to more effectively cover these people, who are a key part of public lands issues that involve grazing, hunting, public lands access, utility corridors, and related topics. Once you know pertinent names and addresses, it will become easier to contact them, and to identify through city, county, or state property records the other properties and people that may be of interest in the issue you are covering. The BLM records also contain extensive information about each lease.
The information is expected to be available in Rangeland Administration System records, possibly as soon as Feb. 22 or so.
Contact information for local, state, and national offices is available on the left side of the BLM home page.