Cattlemen And Sheepmen Had A More Peaceful Home On The Range After The Taylor Grazing Act Was Approved
The New Deal administration of Pres. Franklin Roosevelt took an interest in the use and over use of federal land in the west. In 1934 the Taylor Grazing Act was passed in Congress to set aside federal land for grazing and to require land users to obtain permits from the government. It cut down on battles between users of the range.
The Taylor Act was studied intensely and fearfully throughout the west. At one hearing on the act, a sheepman stood up to ask if small operators would get the same consideration from the government as larger outfits. The hearing officer made no promises. But responsible ranchers and sheepmen realized that the old ways left them at the mercy of fly-by-night herdsmen who could swoop into an area and in a few months leave it unsuitable for use.
A lawyer with years of experience in both defending and prosecuting participants in the west’s range wars predicted that cattlemen would come to appreciate the new law. As grazing districts were drawn up, there were signs that fewer animals were being fed on government acres. The Idaho state land board saw increased demand for its grazing lands, and the price of hay reached $8 per ton.