We have compiled data for every grazing allotment in every Wilderness. You can view the data as PDF files:

A Note about the Data

To acquire our grazing data, Wilderness Watch sent information requests to the federal agencies and contacted Wilderness specialists within the agencies. Wilderness Watch sent formal letters to Forest Service regional offices west of the Mississippi River (Regions 1 through 6) and to each Bureau of Land Management state office, and we questioned Wilderness specialists with the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

The information requested included:
  • A document showing the name and/or number of each grazing allotment in Wilderness, whether in whole or in part;
  • The status of each allotment (e.g. vacant or active);
  • The class of livestock for each allotment (e.g. cow or sheep);
  • The acreage of each allotment (including, if possible, the Wilderness and non-Wilderness acreage identified separately for those allotments that are partially within Wilderness);
  • The AUMs for each allotment (including, if possible, the AUMs in Wilderness and those out of wilderness identified separately for those allotments that are partially within Wilderness); and
  • A map that shows allotments, with identifying names or numbers, with a Wilderness boundary overlay.

The quality of the information we received varied considerably. In some instances, electronic or hard copies of spreadsheets were provided that showed the amount of allotment acreage in and out of Wilderness. Where electronic data was readily available, a Wilderness Watch board member with GIS mapping skills aided in producing maps with detailed acreage figures.

In many instances, it was necessary to estimate what percentage of a grazing allotment fell within Wilderness when the allotment crossed both Wilderness and non-Wilderness acreage. This was done by relying upon maps that were provided to us by the agencies, or by viewing allotment maps and Wildernesses overlaid onto Google Earth. Incomplete data often necessitated searching through databases detailing thousands of allotments in order to find specific allotments within Wilderness. Some databases had duplicative or incomplete information regarding the amount of grazing within Wilderness. With few exceptions, we had to assume that, when an allotment crossed both Wilderness and non-Wilderness acreage, the amount of grazing that took place in Wilderness was reflective of the percentage of the allotment that was in Wilderness.

In sum, we compiled data for every grazing allotment in every Wilderness. We then built a database of the amount of grazing in each unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System. We feel the information we have compiled is as accurate as possible and very close to what is happening on the ground. Every attempt was made to verify the information we received by crosschecking it with secondary sources, particularly when the supplied information was incomplete or inconsistent.

Contact Us

Wilderness Watch
P.O. Box 9175
Missoula, MT 59807
P: 406-542-2048
E: wild@wildernesswatch.org

Minneapolis, MN Office
2833 43rd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55406

P: 612-201-9266

Moscow, ID Office
P.O. Box 9765
Moscow, ID 83843

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