The land needs to rest from cattle grazing for several seasons after a range fire, but here they are on the tablelands above Jackpot, Nevada, grazing part of the Murphy burn.

The sagebrush area is unburned, the rest is obviously burned. Grazing a burn weakens the newly sprouted perennial grasses — the good grasses — in favor of the fire prone annuals. I did notice the cows left the lupines and death camas completely untouched. I had to wonder if the future of this draw will be pretty poisonous flowers?

Cattle grazing the Murphy burn
Grazing the Murphy burn the very next year. Photo Ralph Maughan. June 16, 2008

I saw quite a few pronghorn in the general area, and it is also obviously important deer and elk transitional and maybe winter range, but cows seem to come before everything else.
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Update. June 24. The BLM is going up to the area to get the cattle off the burn. They are not supposed to be there.

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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.

3 Responses to Photo of cattle on the Murphy burn

  1. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    it’s shameful that they’re stocking that burn.

  2. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Just more proof that they don’t give a damn.

  3. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    a state legislator – burt brackett (appointed to state legislature by Otter), whose daughter was a staffer for larry craig grazes out there. simplot cattle run in the area as well. that district has been under a lot of political pressure not to do its job

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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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