Brigham Young University Science Bulletin, Biological Series


Public lands–Utah


This is a review of the use of public lands in Wah Wah and Pine Valleys in western Utah for grazing of livestock, mining, and other private enterprises. The total area of the two valleys is approximately 1,440 square miles of which about 30 square miles are privately owned. From the time grazing of domestic livestock was initiated in the 1870's and 1880's until 1934, the land was free public domain and was grazed on a first-come, first-served basis. Passage of the Taylor Grazing Act in 1934 ended free use of public lands. Existing evidence indicates that by 1934 the grazing base was badly depleted. In the period from 1934 until the early 1950’s, the Bureau of Land Management policies resulted in a general evaluation of range conditions; and since the 1950's policies such as reclamation of pinyon and juniper lands by clearing and seeding have made possible the better distribution of livestock on a seasonal basis and the determination of proper stocking rates. Adjudication of Pine Valley in 1956 and Wah Wah Valley in 1962 have allowed for general improvement of range conditions. Certain abuses of public lands still exist as evidenced by poor control of road building, mining exploration, and predator control practices.