2019 Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge Grazing Package

Grazing Package

The 2019 Grazing Package Bid Application has 5 Parts.

Submission Date Extension


To: Interested Cattle Grazers

Subject: 2019 Refuge Grazing Units

 

Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge will be allowing cattle grazing on three units of the Refuge beginning in 2019. Grazing unit descriptions, requirements, and maps follow below along with a bid application. Cooperators are responsible for following all terms and conditions identified in the requirements and regulations.

Permittees will be selected based on receipt of sealed high bid for each of the grazing units. Sealed bids are due at the Refuge office no later than 4:00 pm, March 8th, 2019.

Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

44843 County Road 19

Odessa, Minnesota 56276

Please call the Refuge headquarters (320) 273-2191, if you have any questions about the units or bidding process.

Links to the complete Grazing Package is below. Print all 5 parts and sign parts 4 and 5. 

Part 1: Big Stone NWR Project Leader Letter  

Part 2: Unit 1, 2, and 3 Grazing Requirements

Part 3: Unit 1, 2, and 3 Aerial Photos  

Part 4: Grazing Bid Application

Part 5: Grazing Regulations

____________________________

Unit 1 Grazing Requirements-2019


Objectives for grazing: To reduce smooth brome dominance on prairie habitats and to stimulate establishment of native vegetation.

Location Description:

Available grazing acres: 155. The unit will be subdivided into two smaller subunits (paddock separation shown is flexible) and cattle will be required to be moved between the units throughout the grazing season as habitat conditions warrant.

Vegetation: The unit is comprised of upland vegetation, including cool season grasses such as brome and Kentucky bluegrass, and warm season grasses such as big bluestem and switchgrass.

Water: Cattle may utilize wetlands located on the unit as a water source. Water availability should be sufficient within the unit for the duration of grazing, however, water availability is not guaranteed. If wetlands are not suitable or sufficient for cattle watering, the cooperator will be required to haul water to the site. If supplemental water is needed, watering locations and delivery method will need to be approved by Refuge staff.

Gates: One existing. Gate location shown on map.

Grazing Period: May 15-August 1, 2019 (approximate dates). The exact beginning and end dates are to be determined by Refuge staff based on weather and habitat conditions. Contract will be for three years, with approximately the same grazing dates each year.

Stocking Rate: approx. 1 AUM/acre

                        160 AU/year

                        160 AU/2.5 months = 64 AUMs

                        Total AUs (three year period): 480

Actual stocking rate may be adjusted (increased or decreased) as habitat/forage conditions warrant, based on weather, period of growing season, and/or animal performance. Any changes to stocking rate will be determined by the Refuge Manager. Permittee is required to provide a minimum of 64 Animal Unit Equivalents to graze this unit.

Animal Unit (AU) Equivalents:

 

Mature cow

1.00

Cow-Calf pair

1.20

Bull

1.50

 

Fencing Required: 

The cooperator is responsible for maintaining all fencing for this unit, including the existing boundary fence. The cooperator will be required to provide the materials and labor to install all temporary and electric fencing, including paddock fencing. Cooperator is responsible for supplying a power source for an electric fence. All electric boundary fences for these units must have high-tensile strength wire (no barbed wire). All temporary fencing will be removed by the Permittee at the end of the 3 year grazing term.

Repair and maintain 7,860 ft. of permanent boundary fence (4 strand smooth wire) on the south, east, and west end of the unit. This fence is in excellent condition and should require little maintenance.

Install and maintain 2,580 ft. of temporary boundary fence.

Install and maintain 2,530 ft. of temporary interior fence separating paddocks.

Unit 2 Grazing Requirements-2019

 

Objectives for grazing: To reduce smooth brome dominance on prairie habitats and to stimulate establishment of native vegetation.

Location Description:

Available grazing acres: 75. The unit will be subdivided into two smaller subunits (paddock separation shown is flexible) and cattle will be required to be moved between the paddocks throughout the grazing season as habitat conditions warrant, as determined by Refuge staff.

Vegetation: The unit is comprised mostly of upland vegetation, including cool season grasses such as brome and Kentucky bluegrass, and warm season grasses such as big bluestem and switchgrass.

Water: Cattle may utilize wetlands located on the unit as a water source, however, water availability is not guaranteed and may not be sufficient throughout the grazing period. If wetlands are not suitable or sufficient for cattle watering, the cooperator will be required to haul water to the site. If supplemental water is needed, watering locations and delivery method will need to be approved by Refuge staff.

Gates: One existing. Gate location shown on map.

Grazing Period: May 15-August 1, 2019 (approximate dates). The exact beginning and end dates are to be determined by Refuge staff based on weather and habitat conditions. Contract will be for three years, with approximately the same grazing dates each year.

Stocking Rate: approx. 1 AUM/acre

                        78 AU/year 

                        78 AU/2.5 months = 31 AUMs

                        Total AUs (three year period): 234 

Actual stocking rate may be adjusted (increased or decreased) as habitat/forage conditions warrant, based on weather, period of growing season, and/or animal performance. Any changes to stocking rate will be determined by the Refuge Manager. Permittee is required to provide a minimum of 31 Animal Unit Equivalents to graze this unit.

Animal Unit (AU) Equivalents:

 

Mature cow

1.00

Cow-Calf pair

1.20

Bull

1.50

 

Fencing Required:

The cooperator is responsible for maintaining all fencing for this unit, including the existing boundary fence. The cooperator will be required to provide the materials and labor to install all temporary and electric fencing, including paddock fencing. Cooperator is responsible for supplying a power source for an electric fence. All electric boundary fences for these units must have high-tensile strength wire (no barbed wire). All temporary fencing will be removed by the Permittee at the end of the 3 year grazing term.

Repair and maintain 5,190 ft. of permanent boundary fence (4 strand, barbed wire with smooth wire bottom strand) on the north end of the unit. This fence is in excellent condition and should require little maintenance.

Install and maintain 1,180 ft. of temporary boundary fence.

Install and maintain 770 ft. of temporary interior fence separating paddocks.

Unit 3 Grazing Requirements-2019

 

Objectives for grazing: To reduce dominance of reed canary grass and cattails in wetlands. Secondly, to reduce smooth brome dominance on prairie habitats and stimulate establishment of native vegetation.

Location Description:

Available grazing acres: 285. The unit will not be subdivided into smaller units; cattle will have access to entire unit throughout the duration of the grazing season. However, cattle may be fenced out and excluded from areas of the unit during the grazing season if overgrazing occurs. Any necessary changes to fencing infrastructure  will be determined by Refuge staff and will be the responsibility of the cooperator.

Vegetation: The unit is comprised mostly of cattail-dominated wetlands. There is a small portion of upland habitat within the unit that consists of a mixture of cool-season grasses and native warm season grasses and forbs.

Water: Cattle may utilize wetlands located on the unit as a water source. Water availability should be sufficient within the unit for the duration of grazing, however, water availability is not guaranteed. If wetlands are not suitable or sufficient for cattle watering, the cooperator will be required to haul water to the site. If supplemental water is needed, watering locations and delivery method will need to be approved by Refuge.

Gates: No existing gates. One will be needed on south end of unit.

Grazing Period: May 15-August 15, 2019 (approximate dates). The exact beginning and end dates are to be determined by Refuge staff based on weather and habitat conditions. Contract will be for three years, with approximately the same grazing dates each year.

Stocking Rate: approx. 1 AUM/acre

                        246 AU/year

                        246 AU/3 months = 82 AUMs

                        Total AUs (three year period): 738

Actual stocking rate may be adjusted (increased or decreased) as habitat/forage conditions warrant, based on weather, period of growing season, and/or animal performance. Any changes to stocking rate will be determined by the Refuge Manager. Permittee is required to provide a minimum of 82 Animal Unit Equivalents to graze this unit.

Animal Unit (AU) Equivalents:

 

Mature cow

1.00

Cow-Calf pair

1.20

Bull

1.50

 

Fencing Required:

The cooperator is responsible for maintaining all fencing for this unit, including the existing boundary fence. The cooperator will be required to provide the materials and labor to install all temporary and electric fencing, including paddock fencing. Cooperator is responsible for supplying a power source for an electric fence. All electric boundary fences for these units must have high-tensile strength wire (no barbed wire). All temporary fencing will be removed by the Permittee at the end of the 3 year grazing term.

 

Repair and maintain 610 ft. of permanent boundary fence (four-strand smooth wire) on the south end of the unit. This fence is in excellent condition and should require little maintenance.

Install and maintain 9,650 ft. of temporary boundary fence, including one gate on the south end of the unit.

Grazing Regulations:

 

 

  1. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reserves the right to modify or terminate the permit if habitat conditions warrant.
  2. Supplemental feeding is prohibited. Use of minerals (salt or protein) will be allowed. Permittee must provide product labeling to the Refuge Manager for approval prior to use. Minerals must be in a container that minimizes spillage and are easily moved and placed as required by the Refuge Manager.
  3. All liability relating to livestock and livestock management to include all persons working for the Permittee, whether related, hired or as a partner, is strictly that of the Permittee as listed on the Special Use Permit (SUP). The Permittee must have/acquire liability insurance that covers the livestock being grazed on Service Lands. A copy of the liability insurance must be provided to the Refuge Manager.
  4. The Permittee must be in compliance with the respective state and local livestock health regulations.
  5. All equipment for grazing and fence construction must have prior Refuge Management approval. Equipment includes ATVs and UTVs and must be clean and free of invasive species plant material including seeds before entering any Refuge, Waterfowl Production Area (WPA), or Service easement. The Refuge Manager reserves the right to inspect and deny the use of any equipment/vehicle/horse etc. that appears to contain invasive species, plant material, or seeds.
  6. The permittee will not use any pesticides (includes insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides) on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands.
  7. Any livestock management action on Service land must be approved by the Refuge Manager. Branding and dehorning are prohibited.
  8. Subletting is not allowed. As approved by the Refuge Manager, partnering with another rancher will be allowed should the number of livestock needed to achieve the desired outcome not be obtainable by a single rancher. If partnering is allowed, the initial Permittee will be solely responsible for the total payment, management, liability and all special conditions of the permit.
  9. All fence maintenance is the responsibility of the Permittee. Any permanent fence constructed on National Wildlife Refuge System lands will become property of the Service. Disking and plowing are not permitted to prepare a site for fence installation. Mowing may be allowed, but must be approved by Refuge staff.
  10. Permittee is responsible for keeping the livestock in the specified cells and in the unit.  Permittee is responsible for any damage to surrounding crops or pastures caused by your cattle. If cattle escape the pasture, permittee may be required to expand or reinforce fencing.
  11. Livestock watering will generally be provided via existing wetlands. During dry periods when wetlands do not contain water, supplemental watering will be allowed. Any methods and locations of supplemental watering on Service lands must be approved by the Refuge Manager.
  12. The Permittee must notify the Refuge Manager of deceased livestock. Deceased livestock must be removed from Service lands within 48 hours of discovery unless other arrangements have been approved by the Refuge Manager.
  13. Following the completion of the final year of the permitted grazing season, removal of all temporary fencing and other equipment provided by the permittee is required. Failure to remove materials within 1 month after the completion of the final grazing season will result in a monetary fine and potential loss of consideration for future grazing permits.
  14. The Permittee agrees that the special use conditions specified above are in effect during the first year of operation. If this permit is for more than one year the conditions may be altered or modified annually, following the first year of operation. Changes in the permit must be made prior to the grazing season by an addendum, which is attached to and becomes part of the agreement.
    • The Service must provide the permittee those changes to the permit prior to February 1st by a written addendum.
    • The permittee then has until February 28th to accept or turn down those changes.
    • If the changes are agreed upon by the permittee, the addendum is signed and attached to the SUP and becomes part of the permit. If the changes are not accepted, the selection process will begin again.
     
  15. Cooperators must be able to respond in a timely manner in case of issues. 
  16. Permittee must provide a tax identification number or SS# for billing purposes.