WASHINGTON – The Federal grazing fee for 2019 will drop to $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM) for public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and $1.35 per head month (HM) for lands managed by the USDA Forest Service. This represents a decrease from the 2018 Federal grazing fee of $1.41 per AUM.
An AUM or HM—treated as equivalent measures for fee purposes—is the use of public lands by one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month. The newly calculated grazing fee was determined by a congressional formula and takes effect March 1, 2019. The fee will apply to nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the BLM and nearly 6,500 permits administered by the Forest Service.
The formula used for calculating the grazing fee was established by Congress in the 1978 Public Rangelands Improvement Act and has remained in use under a 1986 presidential Executive Order. Under that order, the grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 per AUM/HM, and any increase or decrease cannot exceed 25 percent of the previous year’s level.
The annually determined grazing fee is established using a 1966 base value of $1.23 per AUM/HM for livestock grazing on public lands in Western states. The figure is then calculated according to three factors—current private grazing land lease rates, beef cattle prices, and the cost of livestock production. In effect, the fee rises, falls, or stays the same based on market conditions.
“The BLM and Forest Service are committed to strong relationships with the ranching community and work closely with permittees to ensure public rangelands remain healthy, productive working landscapes,” said Brian Steed, BLM Deputy Director for Programs and Policy. “Fifty percent of the collected grazing fees deposited into the U.S. Treasury are returned to the Range Betterment Fund for on-the-ground range improvement projects. Portions of collected fees are also returned to the states for use in the counties where the fees were generated.”
The grazing fee applies in 16 Western states on public lands administered by the BLM and the Forest Service. The states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Permit holders and lessees may contact their local BLM or Forest Service office for additional information.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs.
Aurora, Ore., February 20, 2019— Life Flight Network, the largest not-for-profit air medical transport service in the United States, is opening a new base at the William R. Fairchild International Airport in Port Angeles, Washington. The base will be operational beginning March 29, 2019. Life Flight Network’s highly trained flight crew at the Port Angeles base will provide ICU level care to communities in Clallam, Jefferson and Island counties and will be capable of responding to calls for transport from anywhere in Western Washington and Southeast Alaska.
“Life Flight Network has served Washington communities for 41 years and we are excited to expand our presence and reach in the state, while also increasing our capacity to provide air medical transport service to Southeast Alaska,” said Michael Griffiths, CEO of Life Flight Network. “It is our privilege to serve the region alongside hospitals and emergency response agencies.”
The addition of a base in Port Angeles will enhance essential emergency medical services in Washington State by providing emergency medical air transport to the Olympic Peninsula, Whidbey Island and surrounding communities where patients previously had to wait for aircraft to come from the east side of Puget Sound or south from Bremerton. A large portion of the Olympic Peninsula was previously one of few areas in the state unreachable by air ambulance within a 30-minute response time.
“As a designated level III trauma center with frequent need for medical air transports, OMC and nearby communities would benefit by having advanced medical flight capabilities located at William Fairchild International Airport. Time to transfer can be critical for our trauma, cardiac, and stroke patients,” says Dr. Scott Kennedy, Chief Medical Officer at Olympic Medical Center.
“The new base is an asset to the region and will help improve response times and patient outcomes for residents of the area,” said Port Angeles Fire Chief Ken Dubuc. “The presence of an air medical operation in our community will strengthen emergency response capabilities.”
Each Life Flight Network helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft is equipped with the medical equipment necessary to act as a mobile intensive care unit, with the ability to perform a multitude of highly skilled medical functions during transport, including video laryngoscopes, ICU level ventilators, and blood products for emergency transfusions.
Life Flight Network will station an Agusta-Westland AW109 helicopter at its Port Angeles base. The AW109 is an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) capable aircraft, allowing safe operation in a range of weather conditions. The AW109 is one of the fastest light helicopters available and can cruise at 172 miles per hour. For example, the AW109 can make the trip from Port Angeles to Seattle in 27 minutes.
Life Fight Network will also station a Pilatus PC-12 fixed-wing aircraft in Port Angeles. The PC-12 is very versatile, and capable of operating from short runways to large international airports. The PC-12 cruises at 310 miles per hour and has a range of over 1,800 miles. The PC-12 based in Port Angeles will allow Life Flight Network to serve a greater geographic area, including southeast Alaska. It can make the trip from Port Angeles to Seattle in 25 minutes.
Life Flight Network is a nationally recognized air ambulance service and membership program with more than 550 employees. Life Flight Network serves the western United States, including Alaska, from bases throughout the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. Each base contributes more than $1 million annually to the local economy by creating approximately 15 to 20 new jobs. The Port Angeles aircraft will be staffed 24/7 with an ICU level nurse, experienced paramedic, and a highly skilled pilot. In addition to the medical staff based in Port Angeles, Life Flight Network employs a full time dedicated medical director and associate medical directors to oversee the high level of quality medical care provided across its service region.
Life Flight Network offers memberships for a $65 annual fee. Members incur no out-of-pocket expense if flown for medically necessary emergent conditions by Life Flight Network or one of its reciprocal partners. To request more information about the membership program, or if organizations would like an in-person presentation, contact the Life Flight Network membership office at 800-982-9299.
ABOUT LIFE FLIGHT NETWORK
Life Flight Network, a not-for-profit air medical service, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) and the National Accreditation Alliance of Medical Transport Applications (NAAMTA). Life Flight Network is the largest not-for-profit air medical transport service in the United States. Its service area covers the western United States, including Alaska. Life Flight Network is headquartered in Aurora, Oregon. For more information about Life Flight Network or to become a member, visit www.lifeflight.org.