Washington — Livestock owners who graze animals on public lands in the West will have to pay 8.8%more this year, the government said.
Fees charged by the Forest Service, an agency of the Agriculture Department, and Interior's Bureau of Land Management will rise 16 cents per "head month" beginning March 1.
The monthly rate will be $1.97 per animal unit month, compared to $1.81 last year.
One animal unit month is considered to be a month's use of occupancy of a public range by one weaned or adult cow, bull, steer, heifer, horse, burro or mule, or five sheep or goats.
Forest Service Chief F. Dale Robertson said the fee was raised because prices farmers and ranchers receive for beef cattle have increased and because private grazing land-leaserates have risen in the states involved.