2012 Wildfires affect DNR Grazing Leases

Cattle grazing on state lease

Many grazing leases on state trust lands have been affected by 2012 wildfires that chewed through open grasslands and forests. Photo: DNR

The wildfires of 2012 have affected activities on several thousand acres of State Trust lands in the eastern and southern foothills of the Cascade Mountains and northeast Washington State.

Dozens of grazing leases were among the ‘casualties’— some parcels were severely burned while others were harmed to a lesser degree.

DNR’s Trust Land Managers are assessing the fire’s effects on the land and resources to determine how best to work with lessees on affected parcels.

Best management practices include the option to rest the rangeland, which may be recommended for the next growing season or two.

If it is decided that grazing is to be deferred, and as long as no grazing occurs, basic rent will be waived during the period. Lessees still will be required to pay annual assessment fees.

If a lessee receives any government subsidies, grants or insurance payments for damage to rangeland, normal rent will be due.

DNR, US Forest Service and partners have worked hard to prevent the spread of the wildfires in these areas, but public and private grazing lands have suffered. Permit ranges across State Trust lands, National Forests and other landowners’ parcels also were affected by fire, and DNR is assessing the effects at the time of this publication.

Pat Ryan, DNR Agriculture Program Manager