The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
― William Shakespeare
This article is Part Three of a 3-Part series on cattle grazing, sheep grazing, wild horses and the truth. . .
This was brought about by the many decisions both the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of the Interior had placed into their budget, then into action. The government agencies info-based data premised upon false and erroneous data realistically created problems in both the environment as well as in the wildlife ecosystems. All Public Lands now suffer, needlessly, due to decisions based not on true facts and scientific data, but upon politically manipulated science, driven by corporate agendas, and ruined lands beyond further use by cattle and sheep grazing.
The BLM and the U.S. Forestry Dept. (quite ironically) withdrew, taken out of technical reports and informational media driven reports in total, any data gathering or data in reports that included the accurate count of cattle and effects of cattle grazing on Public Lands (reports sanctioned by government contracts and/or research paid for by taxpayers), as well as the ability to gather causation of cattle on Public Lands.
BLM administrators argue that including cattle grazing into their reports, and collecting data on cattle currently populating Public Lands, can and would sway the technical data unfavorably.
Without this data, truthfully, our Public Lands are being destroyed, with the government agencies responsible for such wrong-doing being complacent about the destroyed land, in total! Cost to taxpayers = $Billions!
Total livestock use on our Public Lands (i.e. precisely Cattle Grazing and Sheep Grazing) currently exceed 10,000,000 Animal Unit Mouths to feed, and measured in AUM Units — or Annual Unit Mouths. An AUM represents forage use by a cow and a calf pair, or five sheep for one month. Left out of the this equation is Horses, as there is not only no available method to count the Horses within a Data Gathering and true representation of such, but there simply exists no prevalent or scientific method of doing a proper Horse Count for scientific purposes within BLM or our Public Lands.
When we break the mysterious Government-Speak, we discover the fact that these government agencies are expecting our Public Lands to feed, in truth, approximately in excess of 25,000,000 cattle and 20,000,000 sheep a month, and add to that more and more on a constant basis. The problem remains consistent, due to falsified information and data gather, heavily manipulated and corrupt data, and exclusion of primary source material within the data (i.e. specifically cattle and sheep data), that America’s Public Land’s are being ruined due to bad decisions based on false information, over grazing, and mismanagement.
We also must keep in mind these are low-numbers of population in regard to cattle and sheep (the most prevalent contributing factor to Public Land destruction), considered by many terrestrial biologists and other research scientist’s. These elements of data are spread over eleven contiguous western states, with five of these states bearing the largest number of cattle and sheep grazing on Public Lands. These five states are also the most controversial in regard to wild horse herd roundups and waste of taxpayer money within the context of roundups and wild horse herd storage.
Consumerism and Meat Consumption
When we consider, for example the decline in meat consumption in America, more problems develop within adequate reasoning for cattle and sheep remaining on Public Lands. There has been a consistent drop of beef consumption in America, and at last count, upon research of this particular market as of August 2013 —
Beef Consumption Down 12.8% and decreasing currently as this article written (Per USDA Report Sept. 2013).
Sheep similar in count, and decreased nearly 28% at the end of August 2013 (Per USDA Report of 2013).
This is significant as Public Land Grazing of cattle fulfills only 2.1% of the commercial market for beef, and only .9% of sheep.
So one has to consider, as taxpayers and as American’s why the BLM, the Forestry, and the USDA, among others, insist on us all paying (tax money for administrative and bogus other criminal activity from welfare ranchers, et al.) for the welfare ranchers to raise beef and sheep on Public Lands, when indeed there is no market for the same in the United States.
Are we to then believe that we are sacrificing America’s Wild Horse Herds for foreign shipment and their purchase of our beef and sheep products? Well, yes, we are now currently doing that!
As well, taxpayers pay-out such an astronomical amount of money, with no discount or return on this same beef and sheep grazing on Public Lands, that it becomes simply criminal in nature, stirred by corporations and politicians to enhance their profit base.
But this article is not about money, welfare ranching, or current reductions in the beef and sheep commercial markets. This article is about the sacrifice we make, here in America, in regard to our wildlife and environment that exists on our Public Lands, and especially the truth behind the Wild Horse Herd roundups and storage of them! This situation is a paramount sacrifice that is especially toxic, controversial, and needless, to say the least. It is simply based on no quality or truthful data!
Environmental and Wildlife Damage
It is important to realize that cattle and sheep use on Public Lands as well as Forestry Service lands becomes far more destructive, within a context of consistent and prolonged destruction to every ecosystem used to graze upon. Ecosystems demolished most often by irresponsible herding practice by welfare ranchers and too many cattle or sheep on a particular stretch of Public Lands. The fact is the situation is a far greater destruction in proportion with that of roads, timber harvests, and wildfires combined. . .
Least we also not forget that the effects of cattle and sheep while grazing on Public Lands prompted federal regulatory controls due to initial harmful effects to include trampling of vegetation, soils, woody plants, and ruination of streambanks as early as the 1890’s. So in reality this is not a new perception, rather, a situation stretched as far as it can possibly go, and truthfully must stop immediately.
Continued Use of Public Lands for Grazing
If livestock use on public lands continues at current levels, its interaction with anticipated changes in climate will likely worsen soil erosion, dust generation, and stream pollution. Soils whose moisture retention capacity has been reduced will undergo further drying by warming temperatures and/or drought and become even more susceptible to wind erosion. Increased Aeolian deposition on snow pack will hasten runoff, accentuating climate-induced hydrological changes on many Public Lands.
Warmer temperatures will likely trigger increased fire occurrence, causing further reductions in cover and composition of biological soil crusts, as well as vascular plants. In some forest types, cattle and sheep grazing has contributed to altered fire regimes and forest structure.
Getting Rid of Grazing on Public Lands
The economic impacts of managing public lands to emphasize environmental enhancements would be modestly positive. Other economic effects could include savings to the US Treasury because federal grazing fees on BLM and FS lands cover only about one-sixth of the agencies’ administration costs.
Most significantly, improved ecosystem function would lead to enhanced ecosystem services, with broad economic benefits. Various studies have documented that the economic values of other public-land resources (e.g., water, timber, recreation, and wilderness) are many times larger than that of grazing. Welfare ranching and cattle/sheep grazing has, indeed, has virtually become more of a criminal endeavor than anything else.
Historical and on-going grazing from cattle and sheep use has affected soils, vegetation, wildlife, and water resources on vast expanses of public forests, shrublands, and grasslands across the American West in ways that are likely to accentuate further destruction and ruination of Public Lands.
If effective adaptations to the adverse effects of climate change are to be accomplished on western public lands, large-scale reductions or cessation of ecosystem stressors associated with cattle/sheep use are crucial. Federal and state land management agencies should seek and make wide use of opportunities to reduce significant cattle/sheep impacts, by ridding Public Lands of both, in order to facilitate ecosystem recovery and improve resiliency.
Such actions represent the most effective and extensive means for helping maintain or improve the ecological integrity of western landscapes and for the continued provision of valuable ecosystem services due to no longer having cattle or sheep grazing on Public Lands.
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