Currently viewing the tag: "livestock grazing"

Attached is a Zoom talk I gave to the Massachusetts Sierra Club on the ecological costs of livestock grazing in the West, but I also provide evidence that livestock production has a serious global impact.

 

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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 and below […]

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Prime pygmy rabbit sagebrush habitat along the Big Lost River where I lived while working for the Challis National Forest. Photo George Wuerthner 

Years ago, I worked on the Challis National Forest and lived along the Big Lost River in Central Idaho. One of my favorite winter activities was skiing through […]

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“The grazing of livestock, where established prior to the effective

date of this Act, shall be permitted to continue subject to such

reasonable regulations as are deemed necessary by the Secretary of

Agriculture.”

The Wilderness Act of 1964, Section 4(d)(4)(2)

Cattle grazing […]

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Cattle grazing in the Blue Range Wilderness of New Mexico. Photo George Wuerthner

Anyone who has ever worked on public lands livestock issues knows that modifying the negative impacts of ranching operations, much less eliminating them, is nearly impossible. Domestic livestock grazing even occurs in national parks, national monuments, wilderness areas, and […]

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Ungrazed juniper and grass in Sutton Mountain Proposed Wilderness, Oregon. Photo George Wuerthner 

One of the most common assertions from the livestock industry and range managers is that juniper is “invading” landscapes, sucking up water that would sustain grasses, and harming wildlife. Of course, these Continue Reading

Public land livestock grazing has a significant social cost in terms of carbon emissions contributing to climate warming. Grand Staircase-Escalante NM Utah.  Photo George Wuerthner 

An important paper was published in Environmental Management about the social carbon costs of public land livestock grazing. The paper Climate, Ecological, and Social Costs of […]

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Livestock grazing negatively impacts more public lands in the West than any other industry. Photo George Wuerhner 

Legislation that would have given the federal government authority to close grazing privileges on public lands was recently withdrawn.

Grazing permit buyouts allow the federal government to close public lands to future livestock grazing permanently.

[…]

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Livestock grazing in the Great Basin has increased cheatgrass, a highly flammable annual grass. Livestock advocates allege targeted grazing can reduce large wildfires. Photo George Wuerthner

A recent publication in the Journal of Rangeland Ecology and Management, “Evaluating the efficacy of targeted cattle grazing for fuel break creation and maintenance,” perpetuates […]

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Bison migrating out of Yellowstone Park where they are subject to capture or slaughter. Photo George Wuerthner 

Bonnie Lynn, an activist who lives on the edge of Yellowstone Park, has produced a film that provides many voices (including me) discussing the tragic slaughter of Yellowstone’s unique bison herd. One of the people […]

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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