Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Permitting and Program Resources
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Notification to Livestock Grazing Operators

The BLM will coordinate with any potentially affected grazing permittee/lessee to discuss how a proposed solar energy project may affect grazing operations and to address possible alternatives as well as mitigation and compensation strategies. Upon acceptance of a proposed Plan of Development (POD) for a solar energy right-of-way (ROW) application that is likely to adversely affect a current livestock grazing operation, the BLM authorized officer will send a certified letter to the permittee/lessee to serve as the 2-year notification of the BLM's potential decision to cancel the permit/lease, in whole or in part, and devote the public lands to a public purpose that may preclude livestock grazing, as required by 43 CFR 4110.4-2(b). The BLM authorized officer will also send a certified letter to the grazing permittee/lessee upon the public notice announcement of a planned competitive lease offer for a solar energy development lease. The intent of the 2-year notification is to provide the grazing permittee/lessee time to make any necessary financial, business, or management adjustments should the permit/lease be cancelled (in whole or in part). The letter will also inform the permittee/lessee of its ability to unconditionally waive the 2-year prior notification.

Upon completion of an environmental assessment (EA) or draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for a solar energy project that may affect livestock grazing, the BLM authorized officer will issue a separate proposed grazing decision to the grazing permittee/lessee. The proposed grazing decision will:

  1. State that the effective date of the permit/lease cancellation and issuance of any new permit/lease for any remaining permitted use will be 2 years from the permittee's/lessee's receipt of the certified letter sent by the BLM authorized officer to the permittee/lessee as described in the preceding paragraph;
  2. Address compensation for range improvements (43 CFR 4110.4-2); and
  3. Address grazing management changes for the new permit/lease, as well as interim grazing adjustments as appropriate.

The BLM will send by certified mail or personal delivery the proposed grazing decision to the affected solar energy ROW applicant or solar energy ROW lease holder, the grazing permittees/lessees, and any agent and lienholder of record who is affected by the proposed action, terms and conditions, or modifications relating to applications, permits, and agreements. Copies of proposed decisions shall also be sent to the interested public (43 CFR 4160.1). The proposed grazing decision will become final unless protested (43 CFR 4160.2).