What is the RANGE Allotment Owners Association?
- The Range Allotment Owners - National Grazinglands Education Association (RAO), is a national level association of livestock producers who are Allotment Owners in the 17 contiguous Western States.
- RAO also accepts applications for non-voting membership from livestock organizations or businesses that support stockraising agriculture and the Constitutional right to own and control property.
- The RAO was formed for the purpose of educating, informing, and assisting Allotment Owners in protecting their property rights and promoting the interests of livestock organizations, businesses, and communities dependent on the Western livestock industry.
What is a “Grazing Allotment”?
- A “grazing allotment” is an “additional allotment” or “additional entry” of “range”, “grazing land” or “land chiefly valuable for grazing and raising forage crops” designated, surveyed, mapped and recorded with the Interior Department under the land disposal laws of the United States specific to the granting of grazinglands or stockraising lands in the 17 contiguous Western States.
- These 17 States received special attention by Congress in the settlement and disposal of federal public lands as “split estates” under the “desert land laws”, “general allotment act”, special mining or water rights laws, and under the “ranch-unit policy” as “additional entry” “grazing allotments".
- Grazing Allotments were granted as “additional allotments” or “additional entries” to supplement “homestead” headquarters or “base-property” under the principle of “equalization” (sometimes called commensurability). The principle of equalization was to grant an amount of grazingland that would support the livestock herd during the period of the year when the stock were not on the homestead property.
- The “grazing allotment” or “additional entry”, together with the “homestead” or “base property” comprised a “farm unit” or “ranch unit”- which was an amount of land of a size “sufficient for the support of a family."
How does RAO operate?
- The Association is registered under the laws of Colorado with the Secretary of State.
- The Association has an Executive Director (ED) who runs the day to day operations and educational activities of the Association with approval of two Principle Operating Officers (Chief Financial Officer and Editor In Chief) that oversee financial management, accounting and tax reporting.
- The ED, CFO and EIC work together to operate the Association under the direction of a National Grazing Advisory Board comprised of up to 13 Directors.
- Each of the eleven far Western States has a Director (AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY). Additionally there is one Native American Director that represents Indian Allotment-owners, and one Director that represents the Plains States Allotment-owners (KS, NE, ND, OK, SD, TX).
- Directors are selected by a nominating committee and elected by the majority vote of their State or Section voting members. Directors serve for terms of up to 5 years as long as they remain voting members in good standing, are replaced by majority vote of their section members, or they resign.
- Each Director will form State and Local Grazing Advisory Boards made up of Allotment Owners as needed for their own State or area of responsibility.
- The National Grazing Advisory Board may elect a Chairman to serve a one year term that is renewable for as long as the NGAB chooses.
Why should I join the Range Allotment Owners Association?
- The Association provides a unified voice for the Allotment Owners throughout the West, to protect their property rights and business interests against the abuses of rogue bureaucrats and anti-ranching extremists.
- The Association of thousands of Allotment Owners will stand with each individual member to protect all Allotment Owners collectively.
- The collective support of Allotment Owners throughout the West is beneficial to all Allotment Owners. Instead of allowing deceptive bureaucrats to entice or threaten Allotment Owners into signing “permits, contracts, and other instruments” that allow bureaucrats to enforce restrictions that would otherwise be illegal, the Association will educate Allotment-owners on their rights, and negotiate all language in “present and future plans, permits, contracts and other instruments” to ensure the protection of Allotment Owners property rights and interests, and help reduce the negative cost of Bureaucrat Control. This will be done through educating Allotment Owners on their rights under the Constitutions and laws of the United States and their respective States.
- RAO will provide expert advice, assistance and testimony on behalf of the members in dealing with bureaucratic abuse and overreach before State or Federal Legislators or the Courts.
- Each Allotment Owner member will receive access to the “Members Only” page of the website in order to provide themselves and their attorneys, accountants, and lending institutions with accurate and important educational information to protect and enhance the value and financial stability of their Ranch Unit.
- RAO will conduct educational workshops to teach Allotment-owners or groups of Allotment-owners how to prepare “plans, permits, contracts and other instruments” (i.e. Allotment Management Plans, Annual Operating Instructions, etc.) in a way that protects their “valid existing rights”.
- Where necessary, and with the approval of the Grazing Advisory Board and Principle Operating Officers, the Association will Intervene or prepare Amicus Curiae Briefs on important court cases that will affect the Association members.
I'm not an Allotment-owner, why should I join as a supporting member?
- Many of the same laws that grant rights to Allotment Owners are also the basis or reason that the bureaucrats and environmental extremists have not be able to shut down access to Western rural residents to hunt, camp, trap, cut wood, mine, drill for oil or gas, and otherwise have access to Western split-estate lands within Forest and Grazing Districts.
- Supporting Allotment Owners property rights creates agricultural production activity, employment opportunities and strong rural economies. Twenty five percent of all grazing fees paid by Allotment Owners goes directly to support local schools and road maintenance. Fifty percent of all grazing fees paid by Allotment Owners goes directly to pay for range improvements which increase property values and tax revenue.
- Twenty five percent of all grazing fees paid by Allotment Owners goes toward paying federal administrative costs, thereby reducing the amount of taxpayer dollars needed to pay salaries of federal bureaucrats.
- Every dollar generated from agricultural and natural resource activities is worth 4 to 8 times the value of one “circulated” dollar within the local community.
- Range improvements constructed by Allotment Owners (or built using grazing-fee dollars), also benefit wildlife and recreationists by improving forage production and water availability.