Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

An interindustry analysis of the importance of grazing on federal lands to the economy of Grant County, Oregon Public Deposited

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  • Use of federal lands for commercial and recreational activities contributes significantly to the economic stability of many rural areas. Recent increases in demand for recreational use have created conflicts between uses and among users. Some are questioning the use of public land for private gain. The seemingly low grazing fees paid by western ranchers have been an additional catalytic agent. One significant question that arises is, how important are the present uses of federal lands to the total economy of an area? More specifically, what is the contribution to the economy of a given area from the use of federal lands as a source of livestock forage? To help answer this question, the economy of Grant County, Oregon was studied in detail. To determine the extent of federal grazing in eastern Oregon, data was obtained from a sample of livestock permittees with the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Information concerning number of cattle grazed, Animal Unit Months of grazing, number of brood cows owned, number of privately-owned acres, and production of forage from private land was obtained. All business activity in Grant County was classified into one of fourteen sectors. Systematic random sampling and personal interviews were utilized to obtain information from the commercial businesses, and mailed questionnaires were sent to the agricultural producers. The data obtained was used to construct a transactions matrix. A matrix of input-output, or technical, coefficients was then derived. Ranches dependent upon federal grazing had a total output (gross sales) in 1964 of nearly $4 million, of which $3 million came from outside the County through exports. The ranches in this sector spent $0.48 per $1.00 of gross sales for the purchase of inputs from Grant County's businesses (exclusive of purchases of labor from the County's households.) Ranchers with federal grazing spent $1,792,533 in Grant County in 1964 for business inputs only, not including labor hired nor personal expenditures. Since these ranchers use both federal and private lands, it is difficult to precisely allocate how much of this quantity is attributable to each source. The lumber industry spent only $0.24 per $1.00 of output on the purchase of inputs in Grant County (not including $0.30 wages per $1.00 of output) but because its gross output was large, this brought $3,304,347 to the County's businesses. A recent study sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service showed that a 20 percent reduction in federal grazing use would cause an 11 percent reduction in gross ranch income. Using this information, a similar reduction in grazing use in Grant County would cause the total output of the Dependent Ranches sector to decline by $399,578. When this lower output level was run through the model, the output of the remaining 13 sectors was shown to decline by $244,161. An additional, indirect loss to the Dependent Ranches sector brought the total business reduction of all 14 sectors to $623,739. An income multiplier was computed to show the impact on County household incomes from this 20 percent reduction. The Dependent Ranches sector had an income multiplier of 1.801680. If the Dependent Ranches sector had its output reduced by the 11 percent, it would cause a loss of household incomes in that sector of $39,563. When this was multiplied by the income multiplier, the total income loss to all households in Grant County from the 20 percent reduction of federal grazing was $71,280. It was not possible to investigate the extent to which these losses might be offset. If several key recreation areas were closed to livestock and the increased recreational use was significant, increased expenditures by recreationists could reduce the net loss. However, because of different sectoral distribution of the direct effects, the indirect effects, and thus the total effect, would most likely be different.
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