Private beef out of our public land.

bornintherut

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Jul 4, 2016
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Kuna Idaho
Ok, so I searched the threads to see if anyone had already touched on this and didn't find anything.

Am I the only one tired of the enormous destruction of beef grazing on our public grounds? Polluted water with giardia, heavy erosion, direct feed competition, riparian damage, etc.

Someones private financial interests should not jeopardize our public lands with reckless abandon. Keep private beef on private land.

I posted a really hypocritical photo of a forest service gate sign on my instagram page (@bornintherut) last year that said the gate was closed to "protect soil and water resources". Wait. So the destruction of the habitat by the beef is ok if they pay enough? Ok I get it now.

See the problem here?

Should we not stir the pot, and advocate to stop all private beef on public lands? Pretty tall order.
 

MTGomer

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Sep 25, 2015
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MT —> AZ
Unless you plan for the full reintroduction of the bison, cloven hoof animals are an essential part of the ecosystem.

But yes, I have seen places that were overgrazed to a point of ridiculousness. But its not the norm.
 

Straight Arrow

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Gallatin Gateway, MT
Am I the only one tired of the enormous destruction of beef grazing on our public grounds? Polluted water with giardia, heavy erosion, direct feed competition, riparian damage, etc.
No, there are others who exaggerate the impact of beef grazing on public lands, but typically not due to factual widespread conditions ... moreso due to a ideological and political bent. Range management is challenging in certain areas with free roaming large grazers, but significant damage as you describe is not as typical as you contend.
 

Carnage2011

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Sep 28, 2012
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Whitehall, MT
Rotational (is that a word?) grazing is very beneficial to the land and animals. Some overgrazing does occur, but for the most part it is minimal.
 

Nameless Range

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Jun 6, 2013
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Western Montana
I think public land grazing is complicated. I've shared this before, but this is an article interviewing a ranching family in the town I went high school in. http://grist.org/food/this-rancher-says-the-bundys-are-idiots-but-he-too-is-worried-about-losing-access-to-public-land/

Yes we are subsidizing grazing on Our Public Lands. But we are also subsidizing wide open spaces currently being used as ag and ranch land on private lands, which, after watching half the county I grew in up be subdivided to death, and now they are carving up the carcass, I feel open spaces are valuable thing. The incredibly low rates federal land grazers enjoy is a complicated issue and vilifying public land grazers, as so many environmental orgs do, may bite us in the a$$ IMO.

That said, nearly every high mountain meadow in the Boulder Mountains is a cow chit ridden mudpit. If greater efforts were made to keep cattle out of riparian areas, the majority of local environmental impacts that folks see and get concerned about would be significantly diminished.
 

BigHornRam

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"Land of Giant Rams"
Ok, so I searched the threads to see if anyone had already touched on this and didn't find anything.

Am I the only one tired of the enormous destruction of beef grazing on our public grounds? Polluted water with giardia, heavy erosion, direct feed competition, riparian damage, etc.

Someones private financial interests should not jeopardize our public lands with reckless abandon. Keep private beef on private land.

I posted a really hypocritical photo of a forest service gate sign on my instagram page (@bornintherut) last year that said the gate was closed to "protect soil and water resources". Wait. So the destruction of the habitat by the beef is ok if they pay enough? Ok I get it now.

See the problem here?

Should we not stir the pot, and advocate to stop all private beef on public lands? Pretty tall order.
110% opposed to your philosophies.
 

Sytes

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Sep 25, 2009
Messages
5,780
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Montana
Seen a good share of cattle patty spreads on public land. Not a real fan of it though it makes for trails to walk along... Trying to find the good of it. As Nameless Range shared, it's complicated. Even to the point of a quality U.S. export value. We provide 20% of the world's beef.

For the value gained vs the cow patty fire starters and trails within areas, I'm okay with public land use for cattle.

Where I am not okay with cattle grazing is within our National Parks! Just because Glacier (East side) is bordered by Tribal land, a "look the other way" Administrative decision to not offend is cow shnitz! They are not permitted, period! Tribal or not... No difference. /Mini rant over. Haha!
 

wllm1313

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Aurora, CO
No cattle on public lands is certainly a position on one extreme with Bundy on the other. The best answer is probably in the middle... given that people on both sides are complaining we are probably in the sweet spot right now :)
 

SFC B

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Colorado Springs
Here are the issues (and I have expressed them one way or another before) that I have experienced here in CO:

1) Ranchers, who for the most part have inherited land through a long succession, act as if the fact that some distant member of their family happened to be in that place at the right time to initiate a ranch makes them some sort of sacrosanct group whose "way of life" we must all support. Don't take this as in any way meaning that I don't believe ranchers work hard. But guess what, LOTS of folks work really hard and don't have the benefit of having been passed thousands of acres to enjoy as we see fit or have public subsidies to support them in a "lifestyle" they choose.

2) Along with the above, acting as if there is somehow an absolute right to use public land to support their lifestyle AND that that right should supersede the rest of the publics use of that public land. I believe I have relayed the shenanigans that ranchers in the area I hunt have been perpetrating over the last few years. To make matters worse, authorities of all flavors don't seem very interested in enforcing any limiting regulations or laws to the detriment of the "poor" 50+ thousand acre ranchers. Having cattle still grazing on public land past deadlines, running herds through public land prime hunting areas during the middle of rifle season(including directly through hunters camps) and herding elk off of public onto private. We have documented and even provided pictures of the violations....nothing has been done.

3) Throw into that the cash-mill of running outfitting businesses on the ranches further subsidized by large amounts of private land only and RFW set aside tags. With elk hunts starting at +-$7k in the area and these ranches having large amounts of tags the $$$$ is sizable. All of that $$$ coming from a public resource.

Full disclosure, I will admit that I surely wish my family had a ranch and I had the ability to enjoy it. I don't and, even though I have worked hard an earn a good living, I have no shot at ever owning any sizable piece of land. I guess that in the end most of us who have some problem or another with the grazing and use of public lands by ranchers in the current set up feel that not only is the public subsidizing the ranching lifestyle and business but we also end up having more of our opportunities infringed on while being excluded from access to HUGE tracts and generally treated like dirt in many instances.
 

PrairieHunter

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May 17, 2018
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Laramie, WY
Most of the grazing that takes place is necessary for a variety of reasons including fuel reduction IMO.

I see adjusting the AUM grazing rates closer to market value as the most needed change in our public land grazing system.
 

WildWill

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Jan 10, 2016
Messages
618
Location
SE Oklahoma
Here are the issues (and I have expressed them one way or another before) that I have experienced here in CO:

1) Ranchers, who for the most part have inherited land through a long succession, act as if the fact that some distant member of their family happened to be in that place at the right time to initiate a ranch makes them some sort of sacrosanct group whose "way of life" we must all support. Don't take this as in any way meaning that I don't believe ranchers work hard. But guess what, LOTS of folks work really hard and don't have the benefit of having been passed thousands of acres to enjoy as we see fit or have public subsidies to support them in a "lifestyle" they choose.

2) Along with the above, acting as if there is somehow an absolute right to use public land to support their lifestyle AND that that right should supersede the rest of the publics use of that public land. I believe I have relayed the shenanigans that ranchers in the area I hunt have been perpetrating over the last few years. To make matters worse, authorities of all flavors don't seem very interested in enforcing any limiting regulations or laws to the detriment of the "poor" 50+ thousand acre ranchers. Having cattle still grazing on public land past deadlines, running herds through public land prime hunting areas during the middle of rifle season(including directly through hunters camps) and herding elk off of public onto private. We have documented and even provided pictures of the violations....nothing has been done.

3) Throw into that the cash-mill of running outfitting businesses on the ranches further subsidized by large amounts of private land only and RFW set aside tags. With elk hunts starting at +-$7k in the area and these ranches having large amounts of tags the $$$$ is sizable. All of that $$$ coming from a public resource.

Full disclosure, I will admit that I surely wish my family had a ranch and I had the ability to enjoy it. I don't and, even though I have worked hard an earn a good living, I have no shot at ever owning any sizable piece of land. I guess that in the end most of us who have some problem or another with the grazing and use of public lands by ranchers in the current set up feel that not only is the public subsidizing the ranching lifestyle and business but we also end up having more of our opportunities infringed on while being excluded from access to HUGE tracts and generally treated like dirt in many instances.
Well said. I think most of us are ok with or at least understand the need for allowing cattle to graze on public land. Unfortunately the sense of entitlement that leads a few bad apples to pull stunts like herding elk of public, harassing hunters, locking public roads, etc. gives ranchers across the west a bad name even though the majority play by the rules.
 

1_pointer

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Dec 20, 2000
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16,918
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Indiana
$10 and a bit of time will get one a pretty good education on public lands grazing.

http://www.cast-science.org/publications/?grazing_on_public_lands&show=product&productID=2857

There's quite the lack of understanding regarding the rules, regulations, rationale, and history regarding public lands grazing. The above is a good primer for those wanting to better understand the topic.

FWIW, by most all reports/surveys, public lands are in better "condition", as it pertains to grazing and its impacts, now than probably any time since they've been public managed lands.
 

neffa3

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Apr 17, 2015
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2,233
Location
Wenatchee
While I dislike much of what I see in terms of public land grazing, I dislike winter range housing developments and ranchettes more. So, I'll continue to support the lesser of those two evils, and support private cows on public land as a way to keep them financially viable and discourage them selling their ranches to developers.
 

Gerald Martin

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Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
4,038
I think public land grazing is complicated. I've shared this before, but this is an article interviewing a ranching family in the town I went high school in. http://grist.org/food/this-rancher-says-the-bundys-are-idiots-but-he-too-is-worried-about-losing-access-to-public-land/

Yes we are subsidizing grazing on Our Public Lands. But we are also subsidizing wide open spaces currently being used as ag and ranch land on private lands, which, after watching half the county I grew in up be subdivided to death, and now they are carving up the carcass, I feel open spaces are valuable thing. The incredibly low rates federal land grazers enjoy is a complicated issue and vilifying public land grazers, as so many environmental orgs do, may bite us in the a$$ IMO.

That said, nearly every high mountain meadow in the Boulder Mountains is a cow chit ridden mudpit. If greater efforts were made to keep cattle out of riparian areas, the majority of local environmental impacts that folks see and get concerned about would be significantly diminished.


I agree. While it gets a bit frustrating dodging cattle in some of my elk hunting spots, the alternative of those ranches that would not be financially viable without public grazing being sold and subdivided is much worse. It's still a net benefit for all of us.
 

SFC B

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Mar 2, 2013
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Colorado Springs
Here is a question about making those ranches "financially viable". While tax rates differ from state to state, without exception, those rates on unimproved land are extremely low ( a quick search shows that here in CO the rate on that land is about $.33 an acre, infinitely less than residential property) . The question of the viability of those ranches simply has to do with how the ranch owners CHOOSE to make their living/income which will support their land. If they choose to run cattle they are choosing the lifestyle and the chance that raising cattle will be profitable(which is usually supported by subsidies). If they choose not to do that then they will have to get a "regular" job to support the land. Working in a fashion like most of us, doing what it takes working for someone else in order to support our family and how we choose to live. Past that, if there is a market, THEN they might choose to sell for development and cash out for LARGE sums of $$$$.
To me it seems to be almost a case of extortion, the threat of subdivision and development being used to extract subsidies, public and governmental support for the "ranching lifestyle". I will be the first to admit that I do take exception to that. Most of us have not been given such a huge resource. What we do have, we have to find independent ways to purchase and support. We do and have what we can afford. A simple analogy to me is this.....I LOVE the beach and would like nothing more than to run a tiki bar on the beach. While I might be able to afford to by a piece of land (or, if I were lucky enough to inherit it), trying to support my family that way is an incredibly risky proposition. Now what if I use the threat of selling my portion of the water front, which others CANNOT use but has some benefit in the fish population for the area, to developers or oil drillers if the taxpayers didn't subsidize my costs in order to make my lifestyle choice "viable". Then I would do things like close off the road along the beach that folks use for access. Anyone that does get to the beach and wants to fish I will find ways to make it unpleasant and unproductive for them unless they want to pay for a charter from MY plot of ocean front...etc. Does this seem familiar? That is the rub to me.
 
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