A stable livestock industry protects and preserves Nevada’s rangelands, helping to sustain Nevada’s diverse landscape and rich rural culture and economy. Nevada’s livestock industry would not exist without ranchers’ ability to graze on public land. With 85% of Nevada land owned by the federal government, most of Nevada’s ranchers graze at least in part on public land.
The vast amounts of federal land in Nevada are overseen by the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service and the military. These entities determine how much livestock can be grazed on any one area at any time. Measurements are taken periodically to ensure grazing is at an optimum level, taking into account other uses such as recreation, wildlife and plant diversity.
Livestock grazing is an important part of a multiple use plan for Nevada’s public lands. Well-managed grazing benefits rangeland by:
- providing wildlife habitat
- providing open space and access for recreation
- limiting the fuels that fuel wildfire
- developing and sustaining watersheds that provide green space, wetlands and wildlife habitat
In addition to helping sustain healthy rangelands, Nevada’s ranching industry is a significant part of Nevada’s heritage and economy. The rich culture of the West is alive and well, from Pioche to Tonopah, Elko to Gardnerville. Ranching is as relevant today as it was 150 years ago. And Nevada’s ranchers are not only caretakers of the public land, they are participants in the landscape.