WildHorseEducation.org has added a new page on “Welfare Ranching.”
Our 11 western states that have ranching on federal public land provides less than 18,000 jobs (0.06% of total jobs). About 22% of ranchers in these states actually hold federal grazing permits (BLM and USDA 1994: 3-65). On a national basis, these ranchers represent only 2% of America’s 1.1 million cattle operators. Public land ranching produces only 3.8% of the nation’s beef cattle, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Rogers and LaFleur 1999). Feeding the masses and keeping western states employed? I think not.
Western Watersheds Project and Wild Utah Project had a significant win this week on the Duck Creek allotment of Utah. In the longest running administrative grazing appeal hearing in the history of the Department of the Interior, including 12 weeks of hearings and a record of 15,000 pages, WWP demonstrated that BLM’s rangeland health assessments were biased, that decisions were made arbitrarily and with little substantive basis, that conservation interests were treated with hostility and unfairly under the law, that the agency paid lip-service to sage-grouse protection but didn’t take the requirements of its special status species policy seriously, and that range developments have profound effects on the landscape and can’t be used to offset existing degradation.
The time and effort to demonstrate this for one allotment represents an enormous commitment of resources, but Duck Creek serves as a proof of concept: BLM’s land health evaluation and decision-making methods are biased, inaccurate, and insufficient to protect the natural resources on our public lands. Public lands advocates shouldn’t bear the burden of proof; federal agencies should be using objective, honest, and scientific methods in determining true land health, not merely rubber-stamping status quo management proposals. HERE
Note: WildHorseEducation.org carries THREE active federal cases against abuse and non-justified removals of wild horses. The cases are ongoing and gaining ground every month! Keep tabs at our website HERE
LAST CHANCE TO SIGN FOR CARE IN HOLDING!
“Responsible practices on the range and in holding seem to be a low priority for an agency that spends the majority of it’s time issuing private profit permits to all the fast-tracked projects that reap millions off of public land,” stated Laura Leigh, President of Wild Horse Education “the very least we can do is immediately find the funding to give basic care to the wild horses in holding to protect them and enhance their chances of being adopted.”
PLEASE go to this link and add comments to the petitions (one is private that has more than 500 signatures and the online public petition). We will be sending your signatures to BLM before the end of the month.