This is another attempt by this powerful livestock interest group to lock Wyoming Game and Fish into their awful feeding regime, keeping Wyoming elk like livestock in during the winter months.

Story in Wyomingfile Network. By Brodie Farquhar.

Note that Wyomingfile is a new experiment in news coverage in Wyoming. It looks like an important source of news. I linked to it in my blogroll.

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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.

4 Responses to Wyoming Stock Growers Association backs bill to prevent Wyoming Game and Fish from holding grazing leases

  1. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Ralph

    Thanks for linking to WyoFile, and linking to this story. The web-based WyoFile is brand new, and has some great people working for it, under Brodie Farquhar’s management as editor. I think it will be an important and alternative source of news in Wyoming. I would ask people to check it out on a regular basis; it will need a strong readership to continue.

    For peoples’ information, HB004, the subject of this story, failed on introduction yesterday, the first day of the legislative session. This is a budget session, and all non-budget bills require 2/3 support of the legislative body for introduction.

    I took this bill as my primary legislative challenge for this session, and I worked some moderate Representatives pretty hard to encourage a no vote on introduction and kill the bill before it got out of the blocks. So, it’s dead for this year.

    Except the issue isn’t dead. the assault on G&F winter range complexes by the livestock industry will not end.

    The ranchers in question, and the Stockgrowers as well, can’t stand to think that there is “unused” forage out there, or that forage might be allocated to wildlife instead of cattle, or that good range management requires moderate, not maximum, utilization of forage by both livestock and wildlife. There is no doubt in my mind that political pressure will continue both on the G&F and the BLM to reallocate the AUMs under dispute to ranchers, taking it away from wildlife and the hunters who paid for it.

    So, I guess I have a new project.

    RH

  2. Robert,

    This is great news, if only for this year. Thank you for your work helping block the bill’s introduction.

  3. avatar Catbestland says:

    Robert,

    Thanks so much for all you are doing.

  4. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    I have an update from a conservation lobbyist working at the legislature. Jim Magagna of the Stockgrowers lobbied hard to achieve the necessary two thirds majority for the bill’s introduction, but couldn’t budge those who voted against it.

    Nevertheless, the vote for introduction was 37-22-1 excused. That 37 includes all the ag Reps. There simply aren’t that many moderates in the House. It was luck this is a budget session. It would have sailed through in a general session.

    The word now is that the Stockgrowers are going to push for an interim study on the issue of G&F possession of grazing leases. My experience with these “studies,” which are usually done by the Legislative Service Office (LSO), Management Audit Section, is that they skew their studies to fit the preconceived desires of the Legislature. I can’t prove this since state law conveniently exempts LSO management audit files from open records laws. I’ve tried.

    As I said, this issue isn’t dead and will require conservation attention.

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‎"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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