Livestock facilities on rangeland include fences, gates, corrals, and water developments. Ranchers work with state and federal agencies to construct and maintain these facilities to allow proper management of livestock.
Stockwater sites provide water for livestock, birds and wildlife. Ramps inside the tanks ensure small critters or birds don’t get trapped inside the tanks. Water developments directly benefit wildlife by increasing habitat in areas with little to no surface water year-round. Maintaining water developments is good for all animals on rangeland. Please do not park near water developments so the animals can utilize them when needed.
Livestock corrals were typically built by ranchers long ago for shipping cattle or sheep at the end of a grazing season. The corrals are often on private land, but sometimes on public land, too. The public should not park or block access to the corrals, particularly in the August/September time frame, when livestock are hauled by truck to another location.
Oftentimes, livestock pastures include multiple ownership (private, state, and federal). Don’t assume you know whether an area is public or private–look at a map. When rangeland fences were originally constructed, the goal was to create an area which includes water (often on private land) and rangeland grazing areas large enough to support a certain number of livestock or (AUM’s-animal unit months). The number of AUM’s is determined and permitted by federal or state agencies. Fences and gates are key to proper rangeland management. If a gate is closed when you pass through, re-close it. If it’s intentionally left open (thrown off the road near the fence), please leave it open.
Grazing permits have specific guidelines for season of use and the number of animals allowed to graze. Ranchers pay an annual fee for these permits while maintaining (and sometimes constructing) corrals, fences, gates, and water developments.
Ranchers work with the agencies to construct and maintain these facilities to allow proper management of livestock on millions of acres across the west. Over 20 million acres are classified as rangeland in Idaho. These vast areas benefit from responsible livestock grazing to reduce fuel (grass) loads which decreases the intensity and flame length of wildfire. Ranchers also manage invasive and noxious weeds.
Destruction, defacing, disturbing, removing, or destroying any property or structures on public land is against the law. Please report any issues or destruction to the relevant local public land agency or the county sheriff.