Range Management

Cattle graze in the grass sagebrush habitat.The Forest Service does not "own" the natural resources. Instead, the agency serves as caretaker for the real owners...the people of the United States. Some of those caretakers are Rangeland Management Specialists.  Their job is to administer and protect range resources through regulation of grazing use by all kinds and classes of livestock on National Forest System lands and on other lands under Forest Service control. They facilitate stewardship, protection, and management of forested ecosystems by promoting proper livestock management. A Rangeland Management Specialist has various responsibilities which include administering grazing permits and monitoring vegetation. 

Administering Grazing Permits

Term Grazing Permits are issued to persons who own livestock to be grazed and such base property as required comprising a farm or ranch operation. Livestock grazing is permitted on designated areas of land called allotments. There are 89 allotments on the Modoc National Forest. These grazing allotments are administered through a grazing permit system. The Forest administers 74 grazing permits for various ranches in the community. These permits, which are issued for a period of ten years, have terms and conditions in them that graziers must comply with.

Grazing permits are also supplemented with Annual Operating Instructions (AOI). An individual AOI is customized for each grazing season and is made part of the terms and conditions of the Term Grazing Permit. AOI’s include guidance criteria that address annual resource conditions, livestock numbers, periods of use, pasture rotations, and monitoring and range improvement projects.


An important part of the Forest Service mission is protecting and managing the national forests and grasslands so that they best demonstrate the sustainable multiple-use management concept. . Rangeland Management Specialists detect and monitor changes in forest condition; and assess resilience of forest ecosystems through collection, analysis, and reporting of data from permanent plot and ground surveys. They focus on two types of monitoring: implementation and effectiveness. The Modoc Forest Plan gives direction and standards that livestock graziers must follow on the forest. Rangeland Management Specialists monitor vegetation to assure that graziers are implementing those directions and standards properly. They also monitor vegetation to determine whether the direction and standards in the Forest Plan are effective at achieving the forest goals for desired vegetation condition.
Range specialists work with the ranchers and livestock graziers to conserve forest and rangeland resources for the benefit of the public for years to come.