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It is my understanding that ranchers can lease land for grazing. This keeps food on my plate so its a good thing ;) But can they restrict you from claims? If so how? Thanks for the answers and your time folks. I know I am dropping questions like a mad man.

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Multiple use policy of of BLM land that includes grazing leases generally is open to prospecting. The problem often seems to be having to cross private property to get to an unclaimed section of public land. If that is the case, the property owner can restrict access to his land to prevent access to the public land. Ranchers with grazing leases can not exclude other multiple use participants such as campers, prospecting etc but there may be existing laws which govern how and where such use can be exercised, such as proximity to water holes, wildlife and so on.   

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In my limited experience, it won't restrict you.  There are things to not disturb like corrals that will show up on google maps and the USGS maps, and wells, but other than that it has not restricted me.  Not being raised on a farm, if I see a bull, I give it a very wide berth.  Once in a while a cow may knock over my claim markers or poop in the creek I want to work.

Edited by chrisski
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I've been chased around the truck a few times by range cows.  Dang things get uppity some times.  One stomped my Gold Magic to death .  Well actually Ran over it trying to get me. 

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5 hours ago, homefire said:

I've been chased around the truck a few times by range cows.  Dang things get uppity some times.  One stomped my Gold Magic to death .  Well actually Ran over it trying to get me. 

It just wanted you to pet it.😉

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Many ranchers simply do not acknowledge "multiple use" and insist the land is "theirs". There has been a lot of trouble with ranchers terrorizing people on BLM land. Several incidents in Arizona and Nevada have happened resulting in violence and prison terms.

There is a belief among some ranchers that public land is illegitimate and that a lease entitles them to treat the land as private. (Bundy, Clump, Bagwell and many others). That does not hold up in court but it makes things rough in the field.

The law says one thing but some ranchers have other ideas. Conflict is common. And the problem is growing.

Know the law and land status but be ready to yield to a crazy in a cowboy hat. Many have really odd ideas these days. You can't win the fight in the field. Only in court and only in areas where the law will hold influential men to account. In many places the "law" is not upheld and you are on your own when conflict occurs.

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Locked BLM gates has been a issue.   Hack saws prevail. 

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12 hours ago, homefire said:

Locked BLM gates has been a issue.   Hack saws prevail. 

Where has BLM locked any gates? 

Where have you hacksawed any gates to gain access to public land?

Access is certainly an issue in places. But that has a lot more to do with landlocked parcels and illegal off road driving. I know of ZERO areas where access to public land has been limited by BLM by locked gates in our neck of the woods. Quite the opposite. Off roaders are allowed to go anywhere and make new roads all over the place with no control whatsoever.

If you are using a hacksaw to cut a lock off someone's gate you are a criminal plain and simple. Private land should be respected just as the off road driving regulations should be respected too. If you dont have access to every inch of public land you need to lace up those boots and walk rather than vandalize someone's private property to save a half mile of effort.

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Yes, locked gates and fencing are springing up on BLM lands here in AZ and it is with the cooperation of AZGFD.

We used to be able to ride our horses long distances here unencumbered on public lands so long as there was water every 20 miles or so.  Just 10 years or so ago, a group of us rode from Williams AZ all the way down to Black Canyon City outside of Phoenix. 

Today that route is no longer open, the springs we watered at on vast stretches of BLM land have been fenced off by AZGFD, with signs proclaiming the areas as waterfowl habitat. 

We used to ride north from here on an old mining trail built for pack animals and could go up into the Bradshaws via Tule Springs and Boulder Creek beyond. All fenced off now due to the springs there.

Not arguing the necessity or virtue of the fencing, but it's new and it's there.

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We ran into some guys a couple of years ago, that were building fences for BLM up in the Wickenburg mountains. They claimed the fences were part of an effort by BLM to keep cattle out of watering holes. While I can see some benefit in that, they were stretching miles of fence...nowhere near water of any sort. There is more to the story I'm certain.

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Homies assertion was the BLM was putting up locked gates to restrict access on public land. And that hacksaw were being used to cut the locks.

It isn't about fences. It isn't about cattle. This was an absolutely untrue attempt to make someone believe the BLM was restricting people (not cattle) from public land (not water sources) with locked gates (not fencing). And that hacksaw were being used to gain access.

I call BS on that. I am out every day and involved in what goes on. There are conflicts and issues and a pile of BS on both sides. But the fairy tale that the BLM is trying to keep people off public land for legitimate use by installing locked gates is nothing but a pipe dream that supports a certain political agenda. It is simply not true.

Yes they build fences to control cattle and protect sensitive areas from cattle. They also close roads in high impact or sensitive areas. But that is just not what we are talking about here or what Homie was driving at.

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2 hours ago, ArcticDave said:

We ran into some guys a couple of years ago, that were building fences for BLM up in the Wickenburg mountains. They claimed the fences were part of an effort by BLM to keep cattle out of watering holes. While I can see some benefit in that, they were stretching miles of fence...nowhere near water of any sort. There is more to the story I'm certain.

Saw what I suspect is a BLM fence by a feeder wash to the San Domingo wash by San Domingo peak.  It went on for a while, and was gated where there was road access.  BLM must have put this up because there's just not that much money in the few cows you can graze in the desert on the land out there.  I have no idea what the fence was for, but two strand of barbed wire would restrict nothing but cattle.  The fence ran parallel to the wash, just over the hill out of site from it.  No private property or patented claims in the vicinity of where I was at.

30 minutes ago, Bedrock Bob said:

Homies assertion was the BLM was putting up locked gates to restrict access on public land. And that hacksaw were being used to cut the locks.

It isn't about fences. It isn't about cattle. This was an absolutely untrue attempt to make someone believe the BLM was restricting people (not cattle) from public land (not water sources) with locked gates (not fencing). And that hacksaw were being used to gain access.

I call BS on that. I am out every day and involved in what goes on. There are conflicts and issues and a pile of BS on both sides. But the fairy tale that the BLM is trying to keep people off public land for legitimate use by installing locked gates is nothing but a pipe dream that supports a certain political agenda. It is simply not true.

Yes they build fences to control cattle and protect sensitive areas from cattle. They also close roads in high impact or sensitive areas. But that is just not what we are talking about here or what Homie was driving at.

Buddy called the BLM for a claim he was maintaining when a lady reported a gate had been put blocking access.   A BLM rep was out there in a couple days to check on it.  There was no gate there.  Turns out the lady that reported this had turned up the wrong road and was stopped at a gate on private property.  She was about 1 km from where she should have turned.  Wonder how many times this happens about these locked gates.

Edited by chrisski

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5 minutes ago, chrisski said:

Saw what I suspect is a BLM fence by a feeder wash to the San Domingo wash by San Domingo peak.  It went on for a while, and was gated where there was road access.  BLM must have put this up because there's just not that much money in the few cows you can graze in the desert on the land out there.  I have no idea what the fence was for, but two strand of barbed wire would restrict nothing but cattle.  The fence ran parallel to the wash, just over the hill out of site from it.  No private property or patented claims in the vicinity of where I was at.

Buddy called the BLM for a claim he was maintaining when a lady reported a gate had been put blocking access.   A BLM rep was out there in a couple days to check on it.  There was no gate there.  Turns out the lady that reported this had turned up the wrong road and was stopped at a gate on private property.  She was about 1 km from where she should have turned.  Wonder how many times this happens about these locked gates.

Every locked gate restricting access to an area is on private property and erected by a private individual. There are very few exceptions to that rule.

Regardless of who put up the gate it is illegal and unethical to use a hacksaw to gain access. 

This is exactly the crap that paints prospectors in a negative light. Anyone who feels compelled to glorify this type of behavior on a public forum is not doing prospectors any favors. We are often viewed as lawbreakers and spoilers of the land. This type of post just reinforces that negative stereotype. It also makes private land owners reluctant to cooperate when talk like this prevails.

Most guys have the good sense to not brag in public about the unethical things they are doing. Some try to make believe that what they do is righteous and justified. As long as they have a peer group that will support or ignore their improper behavior they feel validated. 

As a group we should reject unethical and illegal behavior rather than reward it. If access has been improperly restricted we should fight against it. That is what ethical outdoorsman do. But when some guy advocates breaking the law and vandalizing someone's property just because his chosen route is blocked we should call it out for what it is.

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Bravo Bob! Well said.

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2 hours ago, chrisski said:

Saw what I suspect is a BLM fence by a feeder wash to the San Domingo wash by San Domingo peak.  It went on for a while, and was gated where there was road access.  BLM must have put this up because there's just not that much money in the few cows you can graze in the desert on the land out there.  I have no idea what the fence was for, but two strand of barbed wire would restrict nothing but cattle.  The fence ran parallel to the wash, just over the hill out of site from it.  No private property or patented claims in the vicinity of where I was at.

Arizona is an open range State Chris. What that means in practical terms is that it's up to the landowner to fence livestock out of their property. It's not the duty of the person grazing their livestock to keep them off your property.

In Arizona most of the State Trust lands are leased for grazing. If the BLM or Forest Service don't keep those grazing animals off their land the State (and their lessee) get a free ride on the federal lands. The State has been benefiting from this for a long time - so the feds put up fences when they can afford it to keep the State grazing animals off their grazing lands.

You can see why Arizona has kept the open range laws - more money for the State. Where I live State range cows regularly dine on private lands, gardens and yards where the owners haven't fenced out the livestock. The leased State lands are a few miles away and unfenced. Because of this State grazing leases carry a premium over federal grazing leases. You might only lease a few hundred acres from the State but you usually get the benefit of many times that acreage.

When we were ranching in the Dragoon mountains the State Trust had a 40 acre parcel smack dab in the middle of a neighbor's large ranch. The State leased the grazing rights to that 40 acres and our neighbor had to fence around the 40 acres just to keep the State lease cows from eating his graze. Once he had it fenced in the State never leased the land again. So today there is 40 acres of fenced in land sitting in the middle of nowhere.

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Clay,

I finally reviewed the BLM grazing rights the BLM published, and it seems mining claims per 20 acres are easier to understand then animal unit month and head month for cattle rates.

I think that fence I mentioned was smack dab in the middle of BLM land.  I'll check it out later.  It'd make sense if it was state land fenced off for the reason you mentioned above, but I remember this fence just being in the middle of BLM land along a wash.

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Chrisski, there are many reasons that you would find a random fence going across BLM land. People have been stringing barbed wire around the desert for 100+ years, not always on property boundary lines. The most likely is an allotment fence. These are used to move livestock from one area to another allowing areas to be grazed or rested depending on the time of year. If you really want to know just contact the BLM Range Specialist and I'm sure they could fill you in. It's not the sort of thing they put on most maps if its not a boundary that the average Joe would need to be concerned about.

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There is a Federal grazing allotment division that roughly parallels Castle Hot Springs Road. On the East is Desert Hill allotment and on the west is the Wickenburg Arrow Y allotment.

The State Lands there are also leased for grazing. Most of the area is leased to Rex Maugham with some other State Trust areas leased to the Lemons Family Trust.

I see a lot of cause for livestock fencing in the San Domingo. There is also the issue of watering holes and who gets to use them. At least two of those water sources are on private land.

Edited by clay
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Clay I appreciate the response.  I'm wondering if there is a "LR2000" type program from the BLM or state that says where these grazing allotments are?

 

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The LR2000 is separate from the Grazing Service. They don't have any maps.

Land Matters does have a grazing map with that information.  :D

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Looks like the fence I saw may have followed that grazing allotment.  If that particular allotment is entirely fenced it, the fence would have been dozens of miles long.  Even for two strand barbed wire and metal fencepost placed every few feet, that would have been a huge project.

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I've been stringing fence since I was a 9. Our fencing was around each Section on the ranches. Lot's of hard work there.

When you see a two strand fence in Arizona it's a pretty good bet it's either private or federal. State law requires state fencing to be three strand with stays between the posts. Usually State fencing will also have "No Trespassing" signs.

Edited by clay
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