As folks know, including the government of Wyoming, which fears a sage grouse listing under the ESA, large continuous areas of sagebrush steppe are in big trouble.

It is fascinating how they blame wolves wolves for too few elk and then say there are too many antelope and deer and they need to have a big hunt to decrease their numbers.

Aren’t these overgrazed sagebrush lands described in the article grazed by cattle and/or sheep as well as deer and antelope?

The one constant in Wyoming politics is ranching and minerals come first, and wildlife gets what’s left except it always gets the blame.

Story “Antelope, deer decimating Wyoming’s ‘sagebrush sea‘” By Jennifer Frazer. Rocky Mountain News.

Note I borrowed the headline from “Headwaters News.’

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

One Response to "Antelope, deer decimating Wyoming's 'sagebrush sea'"

  1. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    I like the way Jodi Peterson of Goat, the High Country News blog – http://blog.hcn.org/goat – phrased it: “Fewer hunters, fewer lands to hunt on and fewer hunting permits are all to blame, (Wyoming Game and Fish officials) say. No mention of the 26,900 wells that energy companies have drilled in Wyoming, or of the 51,000 more planned for the next 10 years. No mention of the fact that the BLM plans to issue about 4,500 drilling permits in the state this year (a 300 percent jump since 2002). No mention of the thousands of acres already lost to sprawl, or the additional 2.6 million acres of Wyoming ranchland the American Farmland Trust estimates will be swallowed up by 2020. Nope, it’s not that we need more habitat — we need less wildlife.”

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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