An obvious culprit identified in the report (and its predecessors) is the negligible fee that livestock operators pay to graze a cow and her calf or five sheep for an entire month on public lands, otherwise defined as an AUM (animal unit month). In 2014 it was just $1.35 (priced less than a can of dog food) - a figure that is the lowest fee that can be legally charged.
The $1.35 figure has barely budged over the past 34 years and is well below the market price to graze on private land ($21.60). Fees set by other federal agencies and individual states on public property are also significantly higher.
In 2014, BLM and FSIS permit holders paid an estimated $18.5 million in fees to graze 1.14 million livestock "units" on the 229 million acres of federal land used for grazing. But only a fraction (between one-third and one-quarter) of that $18.5 million actually went into the US Treasury, according to the report. The majority was diverted to range rehabilitation and improvement funds to construct fences for containing livestock, and improving vegetation and forage. In other words, two-thirds to three quarters of the low fees ranchers pay go right back into their pockets, leaving approximately $7.9 million to help defray total costs ... which are, well ... enormous.