Let's talk grazing on public lands...

137buck

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Feb 24, 2012
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91
Location
Western Montana
You mean like this? The grass was so short, it looked like it was mowed, but there is no way for that to happen where this meadow is and it happens all over here and nothing is done about it, yet the ranchers bitch when the elk and deer hit their fields and they wonder why, hmm, maybe if they left some feed for the wildlife they wouldn't be hit. I've gone to the game and fish meetings and it's sickening to hear the ranchers echo the same thing, that one elk is too many on their property, yet, you ask for permission to help reduce the numbers and they say no.
 

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S.Clancy

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Jan 28, 2015
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Montana
The flip side to jealousy is entitlement. Many people on here are simply raising fair questions about how PUBLIC land should be used. It seems as if some ranchers now feel entitled to those grazing rights. And I don’t think concern over unequal treatment (entitlements) is unfounded or is rooted in jealousy.

As far as standing around waiting for government handouts - I think the ranching and farming industry may comprise the largest welfare system we have in the US. I’m a total republican but also an independent thinker and willing to admit that welfare comes in different forms. Some of the very people calling for reduction in food stamps are quietly hoping the voting public doesn’t catch on that some welfare queens drive tractors and wear overalls, some wear suits and drive maseratis, and some wear cowboy hats and drive new dodge rams…
If we're talking BLM grazing rights, ranchers are literally entitled to those by law. When you purchase adjacent deeded property the grazing rights to the BLM go with it.
 

Bighorner

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Nov 15, 2017
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311
You mean like this? The grass was so short, it looked like it was mowed, but there is no way for that to happen where this meadow is and it happens all over here and nothing is done about it, yet the ranchers bitch when the elk and deer hit their fields and they wonder why, hmm, maybe if they left some feed for the wildlife they wouldn't be hit. I've gone to the game and fish meetings and it's sickening to hear the ranchers echo the same thing, that one elk is too many on their property, yet, you ask for permission to help reduce the numbers and they say no.

That looks like a good photo to go to the FS with. Especially with the cage as reference.
 

WCB

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Jun 12, 2019
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1,782
All I know is it is B.S. when Mr. Forest Service Enforcer threatens to ticket me and a fellow guide for, in his words, "cutting off the marked pack trail and established switch backs too soon" while I was horse back pulling two mules hauling an Elk back to trailhead.

The forest is tore up from the 1200+ pairs of cattle being grazed there with F'ing cattle trails running every where straight down hill causing washouts and erosion. BUT, apparently our two horse and two mule are the problem.
 

S.Clancy

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Jan 28, 2015
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Montana
And the follow up question to this is “should they continue to be”? Should a very few benefit at the detriment of many (animals and the public)??
What if people start making the same argument against hunting? Ranchers are on our side, we need to find a way to make the system better, not detonate the current and make up a new one. Grazing also has tons of positive benefits for wildlife. Its generally the minority of ranchers that give the whole livelihood a bad name.
 
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Cowbell

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Jul 21, 2016
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I haven't read through this thread yet, so I hope I'm not saying something someone else has said. I've been a Range Management Specialist for the US Forest Service for 30 plus years in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada. There are good permittees and bad permittees, just like folks in any cross section of society. I've also adminstered Outfitter/Guide permits for hunting outfitters, and some are good and some suck, but are still permitted if they meet the requirements. Just because you wear a cowboy hat doesn't mean you're good or bad. A couple of thoughts, again stating that I don't know what's been said previously and will read them when I have time. Many grazing permittees on National Forest lands winter deer and elk herds on their Base Property (private land), so there are impacts from the (states) wildlife on their forage base, which is a trade off. Take that as you will. Some of this open space and wildlife winter range would probably be sold and covered with trophy homes if it weren't for Public Land grazing permits. In Colorado, grazing permittees complain a lot about coming potential wolf impacts, but have been complaining about the high elk numbers for a lot of years on National Forest, so I have limited sympathy for that. Folks should be aware that 50% of the low grazing fees that they pay also comes back to the Forest Service in "Range Betterment" funds for water development, fences, etc, to help inprove "their" grazing allotments, which means they actually pay even less for their grazing privileges than folks think. Lots goes into public lands grazing. Making the hard decisions is many times political suicide for us range cons, so to have any success you have to be politically astute to make any progress and survive. I am an advocate of public lands grazing if done properly. Getting folks to agree on what is proper is the hard part, especially during drought years. These folks rely on their grazing allotments for their livelylhoods, and few are getting rich. I've barely scratched the surface here. Don't get me started on fire.........
Thanks for sharing. Appreciate your perspective
 

Crghss

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Jun 1, 2018
Messages
154
Location
Jupiter, Florida
My point is, we can afford to un-subsidize ranching a little. Public land grazing is far too cheap and loosely regulated/enforced, and our wildlife pays the price.
I agree 100%. I support small business and farming. But a lot of people take advantage of any situation that they can. And the government is terrible at managing anything.
 

Loggerdude

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2017
Messages
39
Location
Oregon
Newberg flys over the private, tried it in Idaho and no deal unless its a fixed wing established airstrip. Nobody was willing to loose their 🚁. In Oregon the timber company’s have millions of acres of private land blocked and they ain’t letting go. Unless your the fastest internet guy on the 7 minute permit sold out line.
 

Headwatermike

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Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
69
Location
MT
I've not read the responses here, so this might be repetitive.

I support grazing on public lands. Most ranchers I know are land rich and cash poor. However, ranches in the west are the best hope we have for wildlife. The alternative is what we are seeing everywhere in MT: development. I hope that ranches worth millions can make money ranching so that they stay intact. If I had my way, they would make gobs of money running cows. How great would it be to se ranchers buying small parcels to tear down fences and homes for more grazing? Try to buy land at current prices and pay your mortgage with a herd of cows right now--it can't be done.

Furthermore, in much of the blm land it is ranches that require water installations on public land which help to support wildlife. I know some over-graze but that is regulated (albeit imperfectly). Furthermore, no one makes a long-term living by destroying their pastures. Any over-grazing on individual locations seem more like a temporary problem, whereas land sales to development never come back.

I'm not the greatest fan of many individual ranchers but I admit they, as a whole, are our greatest resource for wildlife now and especially in the future.
 
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