Gov. Mike Leavitt has written to the director of the Bureau of Land Management in Utah and the U.S. Forest Service's regional forester asking that the federal agencies permit Utah ranchers to run cattle on public lands during the current drought.
Dry and windy weather, along with several large-scale fires, have combined to harm many of these lands. Federal officials reportedly have asked many Utah ranchers to move their herds early from their grazing allotments. Leavitt is seeking the greatest possible flexibility as far as grazing allotments because it is the last source of affordable feed for many agricultural producers.