Change on the range?: Policy reforms and agenda control


The principal research objective in this article was to analyze efforts to bring about change in federal rangeland policies from 1960 to the present. A key question was whether advocates of range reform could overcome entrenched systems of limited participation established under the venerable Taylor Grazing Act of 1934. The authors found that the subgovernmental participants managed to hold their political base fairly well by retaining substantial representation of western legislators on U.S. House and Senate Interior Committees and the crucial Public Lands Subcommittee and keeping sole possession of program jurisdiction within committee hands. Thus, environmentalists and other would‐be reformers have been unable to alter the basic structure of the grazing subsidy program. They did, however, push for programs requiring multiple‐use management of public rangelands by the Bureau of Land Management and for range improvement funding through the expansion of a reformist advocacy coalition within the range policy community, the emergence of a change‐oriented policy entrepreneur within the House Natural Resources (formerly, Interior) Committee and the strategic use of courts in the early 1970s to compensate for a failure to win any victories in Congress. © 1996 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Political Science

Document Type





Agenda setting, Grazing fees, Livestock grazing, Policy change, Public lands, Rangeland reform

Publication Date


Journal Title

Society and Natural Resources