(a) The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior shall jointly cause to be conducted a study to determine the value of grazing on the lands under their jurisdiction in the eleven Western States with a view to establishing a fee to be charged for domestic livestock grazing on such lands which is equitable to the United States and to the holders of grazing permits and leases on such lands. In making such study, the Secretaries shall take into consideration the costs of production normally associated with domestic livestock grazing in the eleven Western States, differences in forage values, and such other factors as may relate to the reasonableness of such fees. The Secretaries shall report the result of such study to the Congress not later than one year from and after October 21, 1976, together with recommendations to implement a reasonable grazing fee schedule based upon such study. If the report required herein has not been submitted to the Congress within one year after October 21, 1976, the grazing fee charge then in effect shall not be altered and shall remain the same until such report has been submitted to the Congress. Neither Secretary shall increase the grazing fee in the 1977 grazing year.
(1) Congress finds that a substantial amount of the Federal range lands is deteriorating in quality, and that installation of additional range improvements could arrest much of the continuing deterioration and could lead to substantial betterment of forage conditions with resulting benefits to wildlife, watershed protection, and livestock production. Congress therefore directs that 50 per centum or $10,000,000 per annum, whichever is greater of all moneys received by the United States as fees for grazing domestic livestock on public lands (other than from ceded Indian lands) under the Taylor Grazing Act (48 Stat. 1269; 43 U.S.C. 315 et seq.) and the Act of August 28, 1937 (50 Stat. 874; 43 U.S.C. 1181d),1 and on lands in National Forests in the sixteen contiguous Western States under the provisions of this section shall be credited to a separate account in the Treasury, one-half of which is authorized to be appropriated and made available for use in the district, region, or national forest from which such moneys were derived, as the respective Secretary may direct after consultation with district, regional, or national forest user representatives, for the purpose of on-the-ground range rehabilitation, protection, and improvements on such lands, and the remaining one-half shall be used for on-the-ground range rehabilitation, protection, and improvements as the Secretary concerned directs. Any funds so appropriated shall be in addition to any other appropriations made to the respective Secretary for planning and administration of the range betterment program and for other range management. Such rehabilitation, protection, and improvements shall include all forms of range land betterment including, but not limited to, seeding and reseeding, fence construction, weed control, water development, and fish and wildlife habitat enhancement as the respective Secretary may direct after consultation with user representatives. The annual distribution and use of range betterment funds authorized by this paragraph shall not be considered a major Federal action requiring a detailed statement pursuant to section 4332(c) 2 of title 42.
(2) All distributions of moneys made under subsection (b)(1) shall be in addition to distributions made under section 10 of the Taylor Grazing Act [43 U.S.C. 315i] and shall not apply to distribution of moneys made under section 11 of that Act [43 U.S.C. 315j]. The remaining moneys received by the United States as fees for grazing domestic livestock on the public lands shall be deposited in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.
References in Text
The Taylor Grazing Act (48 Stat. 1269; 43 U.S.C. 315 et seq.), referred to in subsec. (b), is act June 28, 1934, ch. 865, 48 Stat. 1269, as amended, which is classified principally to subchapter I (§315 et seq.) of chapter 8A of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 315 of this title and Tables.
Act of August 28, 1937, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), probably means section 4 of act Aug. 28, 1937, ch. 876, title I, 50 Stat. 875, which was formerly classified to section 1181d of this title prior to editorial reclassification as section 2603 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.
Subsec. (b)(2) of this section is comprised of second and third sentences of section 401(b)(2) of Pub. L. 94–579. The first sentence of such section 401(b)(2) amended section 315i(b) of this title.
1978—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 95–514 inserted "or $10,000,000 per annum, whichever is greater" after "50 per centum" and substituted "sixteen contiguous Western States" for "eleven contiguous Western States".
Credit on Grazing Fee for Approved Conservation Practices
Pub. L. 116–94, div. D, title III, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2725, provided in part: "That notwithstanding section 33 of the Bankhead[-]Jones Farm Tenant Act (7 U.S.C. 1012), the Secretary of Agriculture, in calculating a fee for grazing on a National Grassland, may provide a credit of up to 50 percent of the calculated fee to a Grazing Association or direct permittee for a conservation practice approved by the Secretary in advance of the fiscal year in which the cost of the conservation practice is incurred. And, that the amount credited shall remain available to the Grazing Association or the direct permittee, as appropriate, in the fiscal year in which the credit is made and each fiscal year thereafter for use on the project for conservation practices approved by the Secretary."
Similar provisions were contained in the following prior appropriation acts:
Pub. L. 116–6, div. E, title III, Feb. 15, 2019, 133 Stat. 242.
Pub. L. 115–141, div. G, title III, Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 671.
Pub. L. 115–31, div. G, title III, May 5, 2017, 131 Stat. 477.
Moratorium on Increase of Grazing Fee for 1978 Grazing Year
Pub. L. 95–321, July 21, 1978, 92 Stat. 394, in order to allow the Congress sufficient time to analyze the report and recommendations of the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture under subsec. (a) of this section and to take appropriate action, provided that the 1978 grazing year fee was not to be raised by the Secretary of the Interior for the grazing of livestock on public lands nor by the Secretary of Agriculture for such grazing on lands under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service.1 See References in Text note below. 2 So in original. Probably means "4332(2)(C)".