Rancher Wes Mackey encouraged impacted cattlemen to join in on an effort to quantify losses to private property owners. The prevailing question of course is how do you quantify? "There is no way to do it. They say if you don't measure it you don't know what you've got so if we measure it, maybe we can figure out how much damage we really have. It seems like an elk eats about 20 pounds a day. In my mind that puts it at about two thirds of an AUM. So on winter pasture, if that's worth $15 per cow then that's about $10 per head. For the elk, if you have an estimate of how many head you've had and the time frame, then maybe we can come up with some sort of an estimate of the damages of what it's worth to us."
Let's explain the term AUM. According to public lands ranching.org, voluntary federal grazing permit buyout bills (H.R. 3324 and H.R. 3337) propose to pay ranchers $175 per AUM (animal unit month) to retire their grazing permits or leases. Some conservationists object to this price and some object to paying for permits/leases at all. This paper discusses those objections and explains why paying above fair market value (FMV) is both justified and desirable. Following are common concerns and responses to paying above FMV to retire grazing on federal public lands.
Ranchers and game managers are working together to solve the conflict and Rancher Dan French was sort of philosophical. "It is what it is."