According to the latest inventory (2007) of U.S. major land uses, the U.S. land area totals nearly 2.3 billion acres, with grassland pasture and rangeland accounting for 614 million acres (27 percent). See U.S. Dep’t of Agric. (USDA), Major Uses of Land in the United States, (2007). These lands are located throughout the country, and provide substantial economic and environmental benefits. For example, rangelands provide not only forage for beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and other types of domestic livestock, but also provide food and habitat for many species of wildlife, ranging from big game, such as elk, to nesting song birds, such as meadowlarks. USDA, Natural Res. Conservation Serv., Range & Pasture, available at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/landuse/rangepasture. Rangelands also provide other benefits such as recreational opportunities and scenic, cultural, and historic value. Id.
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