Monday, September 13


The Washington Post reports on an intereswting development: The growing realization that Welfare Ranching, the money-losing system where public lands are abused in order to prop up the beef industry and maintain its cultural primacy, just isn't worth all the trouble. "Bob Miller and about a dozen other ranchers in Cascade-Siskiyou own federal grazing permits, lifetime permits that allow them to graze cattle for less than $1.50 a month apiece on the public land. But with concern intensifying about what grazing is doing to the land and the rare species that depend on it, he and others are making common cause with environmentalists who want to end the practice." There's a lot of hand-wringing about how to finance a buyout program (instead of the more common-sense "get your cattle off of public land now" program) - but there in the same article: "Last year the Bureau of Land Management took in nearly $12 million in grazing receipts, officials said, but it spent $50 million administering the program. Critics say the true cost is at least twice as high, noting that the figures do not include expenses such as range development and predator control." OK, so right now $38 million dollars a year is just going straight down the toilet. If we stopped throwing that away, it'd certainly go a long way toward helping to phase out Welfare Ranching.

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