“According to a report by the Center for Biological Diversity, the federal government spent $143.6 million dollars on grazing programs in fiscal year 2014 but grazing receipts only totaled $18.5 million. The Feds pay for a lot—grazing employees, fences, corrals—but do not recoup their costs because they charge grazers 6.72 percent of fees charged by private land owners in the West.
Photo: Cow manure in Taylor Lake.
“Ranchers are emboldened because they view our national public lands as theirs to spoil. While the standoff at Malheur has drawn considerable attention, closer to home, this sense of entitlement is also present. In the Klamath National Forest, a growing number of ranchers are not removing their cattle on time, often merely leaving them to wander home. This is met without punishment by the Forest Service, which further encourages this sense of entitlement.” www.wildcalifornia.org
GR: Ecologists keep saying that the way livestock grazing is managed is too destructive, and any of us can go out and see that. Nevertheless, the U. S. Bureau of Land Management and the U. S. Forest Service keep paying the ranchers to keep on destroying the biological diversity and productivity of the public lands. The reason is inertia–continuation of old policies, and fear–fear of reprisals from politicians supported by the livestock industry.
Thanks, Gary for all the good grazing info.
Some of the hunter-conservationists are now worrying that the Bundy Gang has upset their grand compromise with the ranchers. I have addressed some of these issues on my latest post No Refuge for Wildlife on my EARTH for Animals blog.
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