Livestock Board clarifies range permitsWritten by Saige Albert
“In the past, we have allowed multiple counties to be listed on each permit,” explained State Brand Commissioner Lee Romsa during the June 22 conference call. “Our rules say that permits should list one county location to another county. The intent of clarifying the rules is to get us fully compliant with the statutes.”
Based on Wyoming Statute 11-22-12, a permit is required for movement of livestock from a location in Wyoming to a noncontiguous location in another county, provided that certain requirements are met.
“The intent is to have a home county, and from there, producers can go to another noncontiguous point in another county,” said Romsa. “I think that is being interpreted as broadly as possible right now, with multiple counties on one permit.”
Moving across county lines
Current permits are written to specify that a producer may move across multiple county lines. For example, WLSB President Eric Barlow of Gillette said that a current permit based in Campbell County, could have both Natrona and Carbon County listed. The revised rules would require a separate permit for movement from Campbell to Natrona County and Campbell to Carbon County.
“They can’t intermix between counties on their permits, unless producers can get another permit to go between destination counties,” Barlow said, adding that this could be burdensome on producers. “We need to try to be accommodating in the spirit of these instate range movement permits.”
“I’ve got some producers who carry six or eight counties on a permit, and it becomes pretty difficult to keep track of where people are going with their livestock,” commented Brand Inspector Supervisor Gary Zakotnik. “It would make our life more simple if people would drop the counties they don’t use, and if they had to pay a minimal fee, they probably wouldn’t try to carry all those counties on their permit.”
Degrees of specificity
Brand Inspector Supervisor Jack Streeter additionally commented, “I think it ought to be more specific. The permits ought to specify a point.”
“The law was specific, requiring one specific location in a county to another specific location in another county,” explained Romsa. “The law was broadened quite a bit with a drought.”
When the law was modified, it was because producers were faced with a lack of feedstuffs when they arrived at their destination location. The law was adjusted to allow producers the freedom to move to grass within destination counties.
Barlow commented, “I think it would be a lot easier to get a handle on a specific location.”
Board member Pat Cullen of Wheatland questioned whether movement between locations within the destination county would be allowed.
“Once you are in a county, you aren’t going to need a brand inspection to move,” said Romsa, “So I think we could identify several locations in one county on a permit.”
By identifying locations more specifically, brand inspectors could keep track of animals within the state more easily.
In addition to requiring producers to obtain one permit for each county, Romsa notes that each permit would be accompanied with an individual fee.
“There are minimum fees that are set in the statutes. Currently that minimum is $50,” he explains. “The board could decide to revert permit fees to that minimum.”
Brent Larson, board member from Laramie, suggested that the price be dropped to the minimum fee of $50.
Board member Albert Sommers of Pinedale also encouraged Romsa to insert changes requiring livestock producers to notify their brand inspector via phone, fax or in writing when they choose to move their animals across county lines, in addition to securing a permit and brand inspection.
“We deserve a notification of movement,” commented Sommers. “If people call a brand inspector, at least the state and the system know that they are going to move and where they are moving. That in itself accomplishes the target goal.”
“With our draft instate range movement rules, there are two significant issues we have addressed: one is the numerous deletions that are necessary to be compliant with statute, and the other involves the movement from a single county to a single destination,” said Barlow. “We may need to think a little more about specifying a location or a county in general.”
Barlow suggested that board members should look at and interpret Wyoming Statute further.
The WLSB decided to send the draft rules for chapter 17 out for informal public comment after making minor amendments. Informal comment will be open for three weeks.
The fees related to permits pertain to a separate rule and will be addressed separately.