The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service recently released their 2018 Land Values Summary. The Mountain Region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, experienced a 0.9 percent increase in value from 2017.
The Upper Colorado River Commission (UCRC) has issued a Request for Proposals to invite users of the Colorado River System water in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming to submit proposals for Pilot Program water conservation projects. Projects are meant to test methods for saving water that could be part of a drought contingency plan in the Upper Basin of the Colorado River.
Nationwide, farm real estate values average $3,080 per acre in 2017, up $70 an acre or 2.3 % from 2016. The Mountain region has the lowest farm real estate value at $1,130 per acre. The value of cropland in the same region increased 1.1% year-over-year to $1,780 and pasture land values rose 1.3% to $625 per acre in 2017.
Across much of the American West, primarily the southwest, overstocked and mismanaged forests are leading to poor tree growth, increased fire danger and increases in threads to overall forest health from insects and disease. Additionally, the proper management of these same forests has the ability to create positive impacts in local economies by providing jobs and goods for regional communities. This intersection of the issues of private land stewardship and bolstering sustainable economies fits squarely within the mission of The Western Landowners' Alliance (WLA).
Data from rangeland studies in both Oregon and New Mexico supports grazing as a strategy to promote ecological resiliency. Grazing can be used to manage and promote perennial grasses. In a study focusing on The Great Basin area, researchers found that the fuel moisture of un-grazed rangeland was 21% whereas the same fuel moisture of properly grazed rangeland was over double that at 46%.
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