"Experimental" Washington state grazing program put on hold

Have Western Watersheds/Advocates for the West killed this unfair, anti-wildlife program?

Mimulus patulus - "Stalk-leaved Monkeyflower"
"Stalk-leaved Monkeyflower" Mimulus patulus ~ Asotin Wildlife Area © Dr. Don Johnson

I guess we don’t have many Eastern Washington readers because there were no comments on our earlier article (yesterday) on this, but today’s news in the Seattle Times is very encouraging. This graze-the-state-wildlife-areas-for-free-to-help-me-politically program of the governor’s, really made us furious.

Experimental Washington state grazing program put on hold. By Lynda V. Mapes. Seattle Times staff reporter. “A controversial cattle-grazing program on [Washington] state wildlife lands has been put on hold for the 2010 season after a sharp rebuke by a Superior Court judge.”
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Help support the important work that Western Watersheds Project does. No Washington conservation group seemed to be able to get themselves involved with this.


  1. Tim Avatar

    I have only been to 1 “wildlife area” here in Washington, and i didn’t see very much wildlife. I went to the Swanson lakes wildlife area last fall to explore some areas to go coon hunting with my hounds and I will say all the fences everywhere made the traveling somewhat difficult. after a couple hours of walking and not seeing a single animal and only 1 set of deer tracks and 1 set of coyote tracks i left and have not gone back. This area was set aside for sharp-tail grouse according to the signs on the fences but i don’t think they will ever get a stronghold there again.

  2. Daniel Berg Avatar
    Daniel Berg

    I hate to see the environment used as a bartering chip to gain support for Governor Gregoire east of the Cascades. I don’t pay a hefty tax bill every year to subsidize logging & ranching interests or to watch them trample public lands for short-term benefits.

  3. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    Some of the more interesting comments to a few articles that I checked out on this topic:

    “Washington needs its own version of a Jon Marvel, badly.”

    “Meanwhile, the Chesaw Wildlife Area in Okanogan County has been overrun and devastated by cattle. A cluster of small lakes — the only standing water for many miles — has been turned into a cowpie-infested mudflat. Will DFW wake up and see the light in the northern part of our state, or perhaps be compelled to through this ruling? ”

    “Anyone who has ever seen “wild” areas where cows have been feeding know that the cows destroy the landscape.
    I can’t ride my mountain bike on public trails, but horses and cows can destroy any land they want”

    “‘The theory was that grazing cattle would stimulate growth of grasses and other plants that wildlife, such as elk, could eat.’ Absolute poppycock. But hey, we gotta keep the price of greaseburgers down anyway we can, even if it means ranchers get rich as they prevent any other use of public land.”

    “On the topic of state wildlife areas and cattle grazing, I visited several Dept. of Fish & Wildlife units in Okanogan County back in April. Each had some evidence of cattle grazing. The saddest case, though, was the Chesaw Wildlife Area, where a grizzly was spotted a few years ago. It’s been decimated by cows. One small lake (and the only lake) in the area has had its entire shoreline trampled to mud by cattle hooves and is ringed with cowpies.”


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Ralph Maughan