Rangeland Management on the Cimarron National Grassland

Map of grassland divided up into 30 allotments.














The vegetation condition is manipulated through the use of livestock grazing on the Cimarron National Grassland. The grassland is divided up into 30 allotments for livestock grazing. An allotment is the basic land unit used in the management of livestock on National Forest System lands and associated lands administered by the Forest Service.



Photo of cows north of river.

Each of the allotments have livestock stocking rates based on the precipitation received the previous year – Drought, Average Precipitation, and Above Average Precipitation. On the average approximately 5000 – 5300 head of cattle graze on the grassland during the grazing season of May 1st thru October 31st. If conditions warrant the grazing can be extended to include November and December. This occurs on a year-by-year basis.


Photo of annual roundup by Morton Grazing Association



Currently the Morton County Grazing Association has the only livestock-grazing permit on the Cimarron National Grassland. The Morton County Grazing Association is comprised of 100 members who are ranchers and farmers in Morton and Stevens Counties in southwest Kansas. The Morton County Grazing Association (MCGA) has been around for 62 years and is one the most professional and well-run grazing associations. The success of the MCGA is due to their organization and their member’s willingness to work with the Forest Service.

Photo of Burrowing Owl and cow.


There are approximately 500 miles of fence and over 250 watering facilities that are maintained by the Morton County Grazing Association through the range permitting process. The water facilities are not only used by livestock, but benefit the many wildlife species that make their home on the grassland. In addition to these structural improvements, prescribed fire is used to improve the health of the rangelands.


Photo of cows and blanket flower in background with Santa Fe Trail marker in foreground