Nevada Dividends!

Changes to Public Land Management Policies: Economic Resilience of Ranching


Issue:

With over 87 percent of total land acreage in the state of Nevada under control of the federal government, the impacts of changes in public land management policies and federal land payments will impact the economies of the state of Nevada. Often, changes in public land management policies are not researched or analyzed, especially consequences to the local economy and fiscal balances of government.

What has been done?

An augmented ranch level simulation model for Elko County, Nevada was developed that estimated the probability of financial survivability of the ranch from alternative public land closures due to protection of Sage Grouse populations.

Results:

Removing cattle from the range has been shown to reduce net income of cattle ranchers. If a herd is reduced below 30% to protect sage grouse habitat, net revenues start to run in the red. Rural county governments are also concerned because property taxes capitalize on number of cattle produced, regardless of public or private land use. Results of this study are providing Nevada’s Elko, Esmeralda, Lander, Lincoln, Nye and White Pine counties governmental decision makers information as to potential impacts of alternative public land policies for development of consensus policies.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Thomas Harris

Department of Economics

1664 North Virginia Street

Reno, Nevada   89557

 

Phone: (775) 784-1681

Email: harris@unr.edu

Personal Web Site: http://www.unr.edu/business/research-and-outreach/uced