BLM Grazing Overhaul

brocksw

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Jan 5, 2018
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85
I did a lot of hunting in this country last season and was impressed with the weed management going on there. This goes against the narrative that some here are trying to promote. My first hand observations say something different. Read it or ignore it, I'll just leave this here for those who care to learn something.

I don't think its necessarily a "narrative" that is akin to a propaganda for a certain cause. I think a lot of people just have their local honey holes or place they hunt regularly and what's going on there sort becomes this world view of what's going on in all of the places similar to their "spot".

The ND Little Missouri National Grasslands are infested with non-native grasses and trees, it wouldn't be hard for someone who doesn't know any better to just think that it's the fault of the USFS for poor management and most USFS land will be just like it, or the fault of the rancher for not spraying and all the public land with working ranches will be the same, or whatever entity you want to point your blame. It's not an agenda or narrative, it's just perhaps a lack of perception or understanding.
 

Horseman

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Feb 21, 2021
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I figured you had a hand in the weed management there. Great job and thanks for what you do.
Some of y’all have completely missed my point and are headed off on all kinds of tangents. I’d love to address each of your educated responses to my post but don’t have the time. To be clear when I see a moo cow on US Federal land to me that giant black grass vacuum represents big game that is not available for me and all the other users to enjoy. This is ESPECIALLY aggravating given the difficulty, if not impossibility of obtaining permission to hunt big game on private ranchland. I’d be willing to bet that in my area your average ‘cattleman’ (and permit holder) is a very wealthy absentee owner. My tune would be totally different if every grazing permit holder had to enroll their deeded and leased land into something like block management (totally different governing agencies I know).
One of these days you guys are all going to have to decide who’s side you’re gonna be on (as uncomfortable as it may be)...Cows or big game, big agriculture or hunting? With the rate that the US population grows and new people flock to the Rocky Mountain west I imagine that time is pretty near at hand. Btw some of you definitely sound like you own a ranch and cattle-good for you
 

BigHornRam

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Some of y’all have completely missed my point and are headed off on all kinds of tangents. I’d love to address each of your educated responses to my post but don’t have the time. To be clear when I see a moo cow on US Federal land to me that giant black grass vacuum represents big game that is not available for me and all the other users to enjoy. This is ESPECIALLY aggravating given the difficulty, if not impossibility of obtaining permission to hunt big game on private ranchland. I’d be willing to bet that in my area your average ‘cattleman’ (and permit holder) is a very wealthy absentee owner. My tune would be totally different if every grazing permit holder had to enroll their deeded and leased land into something like block management (totally different governing agencies I know).
One of these days you guys are all going to have to decide who’s side you’re gonna be on (as uncomfortable as it may be)...Cows or big game, big agriculture or hunting? With the rate that the US population grows and new people flock to the Rocky Mountain west I imagine that time is pretty near at hand. Btw some of you definitely sound like you own a ranch and cattle-good for you
I understood you points from post #1. #2 and #3 were more of the same. Disagree with where you are coming from and I have no desire to be on your poorly informed "side". No, I do not own a ranch or cattle.

Good luck with your mission.
 

BWALKER77

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Jan 25, 2018
Messages
782
Some of y’all have completely missed my point and are headed off on all kinds of tangents. I’d love to address each of your educated responses to my post but don’t have the time. To be clear when I see a moo cow on US Federal land to me that giant black grass vacuum represents big game that is not available for me and all the other users to enjoy. This is ESPECIALLY aggravating given the difficulty, if not impossibility of obtaining permission to hunt big game on private ranchland. I’d be willing to bet that in my area your average ‘cattleman’ (and permit holder) is a very wealthy absentee owner. My tune would be totally different if every grazing permit holder had to enroll their deeded and leased land into something like block management (totally different governing agencies I know).
One of these days you guys are all going to have to decide who’s side you’re gonna be on (as uncomfortable as it may be)...Cows or big game, big agriculture or hunting? With the rate that the US population grows and new people flock to the Rocky Mountain west I imagine that time is pretty near at hand. Btw some of you definitely sound like you own a ranch and cattle-good for you
One thing that seems to be lost on you is that public lands are not for the sole use of hunters. Never have been and never will be. In fact USFS were originally set aside to ensure the country has a sustainable source of lumber. Hunting, hiking, etc were a by product.
 

JLS

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Where the Wild Things Are
This goes against the narrative that some here are trying to promote.
I would consider the upper Ruby to be a grazing showcase. That said, this statement is simply disingenuous. I can show you tens of thousands of acres of sage shrub steppe that are horribly degraded from decades of over grazing. The only existing grass communities are Medusa Head Rye and cheat grass.
 
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brocksw

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Jan 5, 2018
Messages
85
.....In fact USFS were originally set aside to ensure the country has a sustainable source of lumber. Hunting, hiking, etc were a by product.
I wouldn't say that's quite accurate. The USFS was created for the "public good" of forest management using science based decision making. There's a lot of ways you can interpret that but looking to Pinchot and Roosevelt, and the subsequent actions, not to mention the literature...and that tells us that the USFS was created, more broadly, for many reasons. Multiple use to sum it up. But the fact that the USFS started out being called "Forest Reserves" tells you that the original intent was more for protection from exploitation than it was for logging or development. A common theme around that era was protection because of an obvious over use or exploitation by extraction (logging, wildlife). It's why so many view Roosevelt as such visionary and as one of the most well regarded presidents in our history...because he recognized the problem of unregulated extractive use and he took action to correct it through safeguards. Action we benefit from today.
 

brocksw

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"But Wallace, undeterred, responded with candor and bluntness, and, in language no one could misinterpret, spoke directly to the question of why the public range was in such sorry shape. He rebuked the livestock raisers for overstocking their ranges for the past five years, in some pastures to the point of erosion, possibly ruining the land permanently.

“It is all right,” he said, “to go ahead if you want to under your rugged individualism and overstock your ranges and eat off your good pastures, it is all right for you to hurt yourselves if you want to, but it is a shame to hurt the land the way you have been doing.”

 

Horseman

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Feb 21, 2021
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It's good to hear that the area looked so good after two years' rest, that means it's still in good condition overall, because if it had been wrecked from all they previous years of grazing it wouldn't have instantly returned to the condition you describe, unless of course you're mistaking invasive plants (which can grow waist deep) for natives, in which case it's really just a huge fire hazard and seed source for further expansion of the invasives. I think most people underestimate the amount of change that has occurred on the landscape from historic livestock grazing, not to say all current grazing is well managed and perfect, but historic grazing changed everything long before any of us ever saw it. Most of the areas that are really bad have been for a long time. There is certainly an expansion of weeds still occurring, and current grazing is a factor, among many, but not the sole driver. It was humans who brought the weeds here. Yes cattle spread them, but as previously mentioned so do elk and everything else, some of the worst weed expansion I've seen after a fire was due to elk, they cover a lot more ground than cows, get it all in every nook and cranny.
Are you trying to explain to me that since humans, cattle and sheep severely altered the ecology of Federal forests and grasslands during a 150 year blip of human history (I agree with you up until here) then we need to continue using those same outdated livestock husbandry practices to keep it all from falling apart? Nonsense I say to you! Btw if it weren’t for cheatgrass I’d say all of our Federal lands could use a good forest fire. Ha, staggered of course!
 

Horseman

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It's good to hear that the area looked so good after two years' rest, that means it's still in good condition overall, because if it had been wrecked from all they previous years of grazing it wouldn't have instantly returned to the condition you describe, unless of course you're mistaking invasive plants (which can grow waist deep) for natives, in which case it's really just a huge fire hazard and seed source for further expansion of the invasives. I think most people underestimate the amount of change that has occurred on the landscape from historic livestock grazing, not to say all current grazing is well managed and perfect, but historic grazing changed everything long before any of us ever saw it. Most of the areas that are really bad have been for a long time. There is certainly an expansion of weeds still occurring, and current grazing is a factor, among many, but not the sole driver. It was humans who brought the weeds here. Yes cattle spread them, but as previously mentioned so do elk and everything else, some of the worst weed expansion I've seen after a fire was due to elk, they cover a lot more ground than cows, get it all in every nook and cranny.
Timothy can grow chest high, is non-native and big game from elk to bears inhale it.
 

BWALKER77

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Jan 25, 2018
Messages
782
I wouldn't say that's quite accurate. The USFS was created for the "public good" of forest management using science based decision making. There's a lot of ways you can interpret that but looking to Pinchot and Roosevelt, and the subsequent actions, not to mention the literature...and that tells us that the USFS was created, more broadly, for many reasons. Multiple use to sum it up. But the fact that the USFS started out being called "Forest Reserves" tells you that the original intent was more for protection from exploitation than it was for logging or development. A common theme around that era was protection because of an obvious over use or exploitation by extraction (logging, wildlife). It's why so many view Roosevelt as such visionary and as one of the most well regarded presidents in our history...because he recognized the problem of unregulated extractive use and he took action to correct it through safeguards. Action we benefit from today.
If one looks at Pinchots disagreements with Muir it's pretty easy to see that he was a conservationist and not a preservationist. After all Pinchot was a professional forester.
Reading this it pretty clear. And the water sheds part pertains to its ability to grow timber.
 

kwyeewyk

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Feb 22, 2019
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Are you trying to explain to me that since humans, cattle and sheep severely altered the ecology of Federal forests and grasslands during a 150 year blip of human history (I agree with you up until here) then we need to continue using those same outdated livestock husbandry practices to keep it all from falling apart? Nonsense I say to you! Btw if it weren’t for cheatgrass I’d say all of our Federal lands could use a good forest fire. Ha, staggered of course!
Not at all, my point is more along the lines of tolerating other uses we may not agree with because I think we are better off learning to work with land owners/ranchers/public land lessees and striving for the best management of the rangeland resources for common goals rather than proclaiming the coming war between hunters and ranchers and having to chose sides. I honestly think synthetic meat and animal welfare advocates are the bigger threat to both hunting and ranching. I've seen plenty of beat up rangeland, and plenty of bad current practices, but I've also seen plenty of dumb hunters that don't show respect for the land, atvs spreading weeds, litter, trespass, wounded animals, etc. Every multiple use has it's issues, but if we all go to war nobody wins.

If your area is timothy, it was planted there, probably to support the grazing allotment, but it also benefits wildlife, even when the cows eat some of it too. I know you have an idealic vision of your area becoming a wildlife haven with two years of grazing rest, but I really think that's a lot of anecdotal evidence and there's lots of quantified info on competition among wild and domestic grazers/browsers out there, but when I think about it, pretty much every elk and most deer I've killed in my life have been in areas actively grazed.

I honestly wish we never had cows here and still had bison, but we don't. I also wish when I drive down the highway that so many animals weren't killed by collisions or affected by habitat fragmentation, or that the dams that give me cheap electricity didn't help kill off most of the salmon, but that's reality. There's a million other things I'd change about the world, if only I was supreme dictator! But alas, I'm one opinion in 7 something billion, and nobody cares what I think.
 

Walkalot

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Oct 28, 2020
Messages
109
My issue is simple. Tax payers get $crewed in many ways. Access in hunting season, tax breaks, govt help ect. AUM should be 80 % market value. Mt blm state fwp forest circus turn around and buy land. More hunting rec stuff, more grazing. Really easy. And bill gates is full of $hit. Beef ribeyes are the best.
 

brocksw

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Jan 5, 2018
Messages
85
If one looks at Pinchots disagreements with Muir it's pretty easy to see that he was a conservationist and not a preservationist. After all Pinchot was a professional forester.
Reading this it pretty clear. And the water sheds part pertains to its ability to grow timber.
I would suggest researching the Forest Reserve Act of 1891 and the decade or two leading up to it. It was not signed into law for the logging industry.

After that act was passed, some years later the Forest Reserves were transferred from the department of interior to the USDA under Pinchot and renamed the USFS.

Then there was a massive inventory of sorts that took place, led by Pinchot. Mapping, trail building, etc.... Resources were assessed rather than just blindly deforesting areas with no understanding of the ecosystems, Forest size, Forest types, water sheds, etc.

You stated the USFS was originally created for a sustainable source of lumber. You're wrong(it's ok it happens to all of us). As I stated above, it was much more broad than that. The original discussions that lead to the division of forestry were discussions and concerns based in a fear of exploitation and misuse. They wanted to prevent that. Pinchot wanted to prevent that.

"The reserve system, established in 1891, was "intended to stop unregulated timber harvest on sensitive public lands", Pinchot believed that the reserves then under the control of the Department of Interior- should be transferred to the Department of Agriculture because Interior was fraught with mismanagement and political infighting. Pinchot maintained that the small Division of Forestry in the Department of Agriculture, which already dispensed advice to private and public timber interests,was best suited to administer the reserves because it would not "bow to political pressure or Big Money." He told Congress that "in the administration of the forest reserves it must be clearly borne in mind that all land is
to be devoted to its most productive use for the permanent good of the whole people. . . .""

The USFS is the regulatory arm to manage that resource in that fashion...timber included, water sheds, wildlife, grazing, etc...to prevent exploitation of the land.




www.fs.usda.gov › 2015/06 PDF The USDA Forest Service— The First Century


Link to "The forest must come first"
 
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