Range War in the West

Patrick Dorinson has taken aim at one group of rabble-rousers you may be familiar with :

Range War In the WestFOXNews.com

But some environmentalist outlaws like the Western Watersheds Project had no interest in compromise and since have used and abused the legal system of this country to deny the ranchers their rights and seeks to have the U.S. Government abrogate the legal contracts that allows them to use public lands for grazing.

It’s a funny diatribe, Patrick goes to great lengths to fit in every last possible piece of mud drawing upon over a decade of uninformed cliché, contrived stereotype and baseless accusation.

Every once in awhile these guys need a really good rage in print – good on ’em.  At first I wasn’t going to post it, but it spread to NewWest so I figured we should share it as well.



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  1. mikarooni Avatar

    I believe you’ll find that Dorinson generally acts as a hired gun and voices material that either others already fund or otherwise “support” him to voice or as bait to get funding or some other form of “support” from others. He’s a bread and butter kind of guy; he seeks out ways to butter his bread.

  2. catbestland Avatar

    What do you expect from “faux News”?

  3. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    This article makes it sound like ranchers are so persecuted. I think they are forgetting that this is public land that is being abused for the benefit of a few people.

  4. Brian Ertz Avatar

    well, i hope he gets paid good. i hadn’t had a laugh half as good as when that hit my inbox in quite some time.

    my favorite was the bully part.

  5. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I love the complaint about the buffalo. Obviously someone doesn’t understand that there is a huge difference between a native species grazing land that it was adapted to and was adapted to its presence, and a non-native species. Such as why wild boars are a danger in the South but not in Europe where they are native.

  6. Ken Cole Avatar

    New West has the same article: http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/range_war_in_the_west/C37/L37/

    Here is what I wrote there.

    It’s funny how an organization which uses the courts to hold government officials accountable could be called “a band of outlaws”. There is a reason that WWP wins in court regularly and it is because the only interests represented by agencies such as the the BLM and USFS are the extractive interests, especially livestock interests.

    I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard agency people come up with some lame excuse why they continue to allow livestock graze in areas that have been totally devastated by those very livestock.

    When reading permit renewal documents the BLM never admits that livestock are the reason for the failure to meet rangeland health standards even though it is absolutely apparent that they are. If the standards aren’t being met they rearrange the deck chairs but always maintain the same amount of livestock use even though there are serious problems.

    They have mislead about whether species such as sage grouse are using a particular allotment even though their own mapping shows that they are. Judges don’t like that and that’s why we win.

    The livestock industry wants it all, wolves, bears, lions, coyotes, ravens, buffalo, elk, and a whole array of wildlife are killed outright so they can maintain their custom and culture. Other species have and are disappearing because of their abusive grazing practices so they can maintain their custom and culture. Habitat is being destroyed, water is being polluted and the land is pounded into dust so they can maintain their custom and culture. They have “captured” university range departments to concoct science to justify their carnage upon the land so they can maintain their custom and culture. They have killed literally thousands of buffalo under the guise of disease management which turns out to be a scheme to protect grass so they can maintain their custom and culture. They cherry pick science to deny the fact that their domestic sheep kill OUR bighorn sheep so they can maintain their custom and culture. They destroy vast areas of important sagebrush steppe and piñon/juniper habitat by mowing, poisoning, hacking and burning under the guise of habitat improvement or “fuels” projects but which are in reality ways to increase forage for livestock so they can maintain their custom and culture.

    Unfortunately the “custom and culture” argument falls flat when you look at who is involved in public lands ranching. Companies like Barrick Gold (a Canadian mining company) and other mining companies, the Simplot Corporation, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and rich hobby ranchers are the big players in public lands ranching at least in Nevada and parts of Idaho. These companies use public lands ranching for various reasons. These mining companies, agribusiness, and water speculators buy base properties and hire ranchers to graze the public lands allotments. That is hardly the “custom and culture” that one thinks of when the subject is brought up but it is becoming the norm. They have expensive lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians to further their priorities while the public is being rolled and asked to subsidize this destructive practice.

    And what do they pay for the privilege? $1.35 per Animal Unit Month which entitles them to graze a cow and a calf or up 10 domestic sheep on OUR public lands.

    The hyperbole that Mr. Dorinson, who is “a communications strategist specializing in media relations, speech and op-ed writing, public affairs, political communications, crisis communications and government relations” according to his website (http://www.pdcomm.com/About.html), is seemingly meant to disparage anyone who may be opposed to the interests of the livestock industry. He fails to mention the devastation that the livestock industry has wrought upon the land and the wildlife while trying to gain sympathy for the “custom and culture” which is benefits the few landed elite, politically connected, and hobby ranchers.

  7. jerryB Avatar

    Just imagine…a “principled” conservation group (WWP) as opposed to the mainline “unprincipled”groups (I won’t mention them by name.)
    Keep on kicking ass, WWP!!!

  8. monty Avatar

    Bernard Devoto and Wallace Stegner fought these same pirates 30 to 60 years ago. One of the greatest values of these “public lands” are watershed protection from those who would “shovel the West into it’s rivers”.

  9. kt Avatar

    Monty: Yes, Bernard DeVoto saw through it all. That the stockmen were the whining pretty faces on the pludering of public lands for others – the miners and loggers back then. Ranchers, miners, and loggers sought then as now to plunder at will on the public domain – and to ultimately find ways to privatize public lands. Anyone who hasn’t read him should look for the whole series of essays originally in Harper’s then compiled in a book called The Easy Chair, some of which are be found in a book still in print called The Western Paradox.

    These days we have a new public land plunderers – the Las Vegas and other water pirates and water speculators, the thuggish industrial wind farm bullies – as well, of course, as the Oil and Gas men.

    The whole reason this piece was written, I believe, is that WWP has touched some nerves now of those beyond ranching – in standing up for sage-grouse.

    Sage-grouse habitat is being destroyed by ranchers and their livestock that spread weeds and destroy cover, water pirates, gold mines like Barrick who steal billions from us all, foreign wind interests like RES, and now Oil and Gas, too. WWP has challenged a whole slew of Bush era Land Use Plans in Wyoming and Utah that would allow Oil and Gas to, essentially, drive sage-grouse to extinction there. So the whole kit and caboodle is in attack-mode … Wonder who hired this fellow?

  10. Brian Ertz Avatar

    They’re puffing up with the idea that the percieved popularity of the cowboy myth places them in a better courtroom of public opinion than the inevitable confrontation with the rule of law they’ve got coming (see: sage grouse, desert tortoise, etc.).

    If it’s played like before, they’re banking on the limp noodle Gang Green Lobby & the Democrats peeing themselves in an attempt to avoid the confrontation they’re willing to stoke in the media. That, or they’ve already sold the boat on some ambitious reach-around on behalf of the next Great “Green” Energy Industry.

    “This time we’ll get it right” they chant ~ Progress ~ Legacy.

    That could mean political pressure against positive listing determinations with sage grouse (& others), toward delaying it indefinetly, &/or politicized “compromises” pushed through Congress meant to side-step the full force of the ESA. Can’t have that overwhelming leverage over several very big industries – our *enlightened* industries – chomping at the bit for access to (or to maintain) the public land ‘market’. Big Corporate Green has gone along with it before. Hell, they’re invested in it now – or it’s invested in them, depending on which way you look at it (see: torrent of industry-backed foundational support). Think a quasi-10(j) statute for sage grouse, tortoise, or anything else with the gall to inhabit the same space where wind, sun, gas & grass are to be harvested. Maybe they’ll just slip the exemption on at the land-use level.

    Bernard DeVoto is exactly right – just as it was before – with not so much as the shame to switch up the playbook.

  11. Monty Avatar

    kt & Brian: Our culture worships–Mammon–the perpetual growth machine. America is now the 3rd most populated country in the world. We have an incurable case of the “Mores”. Several years ago I spent a day with a Chinese Forester–who was purportedly–one of 4 men who made forest policy for China. He admitted that the greatest resource challenge that China must deal w/is unsustainble human numbers. He went on to say that “rationing” is a primary tool in dealing w/this issue. This country still believes that More is better.

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Brian Ertz