Currently viewing the category: "Grazing and Livestock"

Cattle congregating in the riparian area, Chama, New Mexico. Photo George Wuerthner

SOIL CARBON AND LIVESTOCK

Rangelands make up a large proportion of the Earth’s surface, and the soils hold a significant amount of sequestered carbon (Schuman,G.E et al.  2001). Rangelands are estimated to contain more than one-third of the world’s above […]

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Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Ram. Photo George Wuerthner

Bighorn sheep acquired their name for the large circular horns of the mature rams. They are strongly associated with mountain terrain, particularly steep hills and cliffs, which protect them against predators. They graze upon grasses and other plants. In general, bighorns are associated with […]

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“What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”

What should we call the diverse, wild, inspiring but scarred peninsula sliding very slowly past us, jurisdictionally in West Marin County, California, but geologically across the San Andreas Fault, on the Pacific Plate, going steadily its own […]

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The dawn breaks each morning on a hundred different mountain ranges in the Great Basin, with few human eyes to see it. Many of these mountain chains will be unfamiliar to most – the Toquimas, the Wah Wahs, the Goshutes, the Sheeprocks, the Fox Range – but the one thing they all have in common […]

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Cattle grazing in designated wilderness at the Mojave National Preserve, California. Photo George Wuerthner 

Cows in designated wilderness areas? Does that seem like an oxymoron? Wilderness Areas are supposed to be places where natural processes and native species are given priority. With the election of the Biden administration, it may be […]

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Dear Oregon Bureau of Land Management staffers,

I am writing today to ask you to please defend the proper administration of public lands. The recent decision to award Hammond Ranches, Inc. a livestock grazing permit and grazing preference to use four allotments in the Burns Field Office appears to have been politically influenced, and […]

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A week ago, eight prominent scientists sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) declaring that the agency’s proposed Tri-State Fuel Break (TSFB) is flawed and will endanger sagebrush ecosystems.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (“FEIS”) and other project documents are available on the agency’s website at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/42341/510.

To quote the scientists: […]

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If cattle graze to bare soil, it is true that fires are slowed under such conditions, but the ecological impacts are enormous. Photo George Wuerthner 

When I worked for the BLM, us “ologists” (hydrologist, ecologists, biologists, archaeologists, geologists, and botanists) used to refer to Range Conservationists as Range “Cons” because they conned […]

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Upper Deschutes River is essentially an irrigation cancel for irrigators. Photo George Wuerthner

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will soon decide whether to approve a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the Deschutes River Basin. The HCP was initiated by local irrigators and the city of Prineville who want to maintain their privilege […]

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Black-tailed praire dog. Photo by George Wuerthner

Years ago, I went out of my way to visit the Thunder Basin National Grassland. With a name like “Thunder Basin,” how could I resist.

The Thunder Basin National Grassland is located in northeastern Wyoming in the Powder River Basin between the Big Horn Mountains and […]

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Quote

‎"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