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Resolving Range Conflict in Nevada? The Potential for Compensation via Monetary Payouts and Grazing Alternatives


  • Thomas Hobby
  • G. Cornelis van Kooten


In response to environmental pressure, public land agencies in Nevada have reduced animal unit months (AUMs) of grazing on public lands. This has resulted in economic losses to ranchers, increased conflict between ranchers and the public land agencies, and general unrest in the ranch community. One approach to resolving the problems might be to compensate ranchers for lost grazing privileges. In this study, we employ the results of the Nevada Ranch Survey to examine ranchers’ willingness to accept a one-time payment to retire grazing rights, as well as three other means of “compensating” ranchers that enable them to earn a living from the public lands despite reduced access to public forage. The results suggest that ranchers are not keen on being compensated in any form, expressing a desire to continue ranching. However, those most amenable to compensation and a reworking of the social contract are those who have the best relationship with the public land manager and view the public agencies in a positive light.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Hobby & G. Cornelis van Kooten, 2003. "Resolving Range Conflict in Nevada? The Potential for Compensation via Monetary Payouts and Grazing Alternatives," Working Papers 2003-07, University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:rep:wpaper:2003-07

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    File Function: Final version, 2003
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    More about this item


    range economics; environmental services from public land; compensation for grazing rights; social capital and trust;

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe


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