Western governors declare war on cheatgrass

Western Governors yesterday held a press conference to declare war on cheatgrass.

I can’t help but think back to an article on NewWest describing the importance of words when considering conservation politics – politics in general.

We’ve got a good idea how politicians in cowboy suits conduct their perpetual wars. Now it’s been declared in the West, on up to a million acres recently charred by fire – against an infliction of the range which follows the very ‘prescriptions’ that they call for. They’re chasing their tails, and in the process turning your public lands into their private pasture.

Whenever you hear the word “war” you can bet that there will be values which wouldn’t otherwise be compromised in pursuit of the endgame ~ if they’ve taken the time to draw up an endgame. It takes the focus off of conservation and makes the goal destruction.

It’s good for their private interest, but bad for our public interest.

While not an actual war, Westerners can expect to watch this unfold in a very similar fashion. They’ll call “cheatgrass” while lacing our West with non-native Crested/Siberian wheat grasses that they say prevent cheat and fire. But these grasses are more likely to deter wildlife than either fire or cheat.

Cowboy Rehab

The word “natives” will be tossed around and obfuscated to include cultivars which are more productive for more of their livestock ~ but are not native.

Here’s a webpage on westernwatersheds.org with video and pictures of fire rehab of the past in the Jarbidge.

The politicized opportunism of the tragedies of these fires is outrageous. They’re going for it :
It’s time for sagebrush patriots to rally against the land stealing rebels


  1. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf


    That’s what is needed to combat these efforts by politicians and ranchers to continue to steal land and land-use from the public.

    I dearly wish some of the conservation groups would create a budget and start running ads. It is what’s needed. Politicians get elected, and are supported by lobbies such as ranching, in part because they get free “advertising.” When a politician speaks, they automatically receive both credibility, and air time. But they spew lies, paid for by organizations who essentially get inexpensive ad campaigns.

    But they forget about one thing: they are outnumbered, and outfinanced. If conservation organizations got together and formed an alliance, they could afford ad campaigns to counter some of this propaganda. The public doesn’t read scientific journals; the source of real facts that the politicians ignore and even contradict. The public watches TV and reads headlines in the news. So, an advertising campaign to demonstrate, for example, that cheatgrass and CWG are non-native and contribute to fire, rather than preventing fire; would go very far to educate the public, and sway public opinion against these land thieves.

  2. kt Avatar

    Well, in the Western Governor’s WAR on cheatgrass, as they gallop about on their BLAZING SADDLES and HIGH HORSES, let us hope they take step numero uno that is needed: Issue Emergency Declarations in ther respective states to prevent turnout of cattle and sheep on all public lands that do not yet have cheatgrass infesting them. Science shows that is what must be done to save the sagebrush sea …

  3. begreen Avatar

    yes, it seems to me like once cheat holds an area, it’s a heck of a time getting it out – if even possible. the first step ought to be ensuring the vigor of the best preventatives to cheat we have left – healthy native communities, including intact soil crust – against disruption. that means taking cattle off the land and addressing/mitigating the causes.

    that’s the best bang for the buck it would seem.

    i also agree with Mike ~ i think we’ll see the internet emerge on the note…


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Brian Ertz