“The fact is the BLM and Welfare Ranchers are now stooping to levels of coercion and bully tactics to keep functioning as they have in the past. But the truth has an odd way of seeking power over misinformation, lies, and criminality. . .” — John Cox, Horse Advocate
Many people assume, since most of the western landscape is given over to livestock production, that ranching must be economically important. But, as economist Thomas Power points out “. . . the livestock industry contributes almost nothing to western economies, even at the local level.”
The western rancher is dependent on what can be classified as no more than a welfare program. Not so ironic, the low fees paid by ranchers to graze upon federal lands only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.
“Other subsidies include taxpayer-supported research at western land grant universities, as well as agricultural exemptions that lower property taxes paid by ranchers. Most often Welfare Ranchers pay no tax at all on their subsidies, even though nothing more than profit. There are handouts to help with nearly every problem: drought relief, low-interest agricultural loans, emergency livestock feed programs, emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program lands, to name a few.
Even many of the fences crisscrossing the West’s “open” spaces are paid for by American taxpayers, and not so surprising, the maintaining of those fences costs taxpayers millions of dollars a year in subsidies, going directly to the Welfare Rancher Grazing Permit Holder. Scam!
Seeing the actual Welfare Rancher invoices and budgets simply makes one’s head spin, with a big neon-sign in the brain that screams — SCAM – SCAM – SCAM.
Bureau of Land Management and Welfare Ranchers
If this is not enough to make one’s disappointment in our government and welfare ranching programs questionable as authentic-necessity, the big lie, it goes much further. Ranchers are literally mortgaging the public’s resources for their private benefit. There exists a connection between the banking industry and public lands ranching, and ranchers are able to take out loans based on the “value” of their grazing permits. This certainly questionable arrangement forces government officials to consider the status of a rancher’s debt when making range management decisions, rather than focusing on what is best for the land.
Beyond the economic subsidies are the health, social, and environmental costs of the animal agriculture industry in general – the larger context within which public lands livestock grazing is properly viewed, but awkwardly at best. Welfare Ranching’s non-essential aspects sticks-out definitively.
Situations such as loss of arable land, wild horse assassination and evacuation, wildlife killed, ecosystems destroyed, land desertification, tropical deforestation, simply add to urban overcrowding, and poverty, may appear unconnected to problems of ecosystem degradation in the arid West – but in reality — it is all connected.
It is all enshrined into the chaos of government mismanagement and awkward loop-holes in law, which is not confronted by our lawmakers in Congress at present. One has to wonder why this is, so obvious and yet ignored so much – and costing taxpayers billions of dollars – SCAM!
“The important situation here is a disgusting fact that all these difficulties are linked-directly or indirectly to an international system of meat production and an increasingly global pattern of meat consumption.” Welfare Ranching is simply a part of these destructive worldwide trends. But the despicable fact that taxpayers should be especially attentive toward, is the unqualified and unproductive resource of Welfare Ranching itself and on Public Lands, especially in the west.”
In reality it is and remains today and as stated earlier, simply a Welfare Program, or what many refer to as a Monetary-Scam, to obtain taxpayer money. The fact is Welfare Rancher’s, as well as the Bureau of Land management, do not want taxpayer’s to know or acknowledge that they would not exist in the commercial world of ranching, and for several legitimate reasons. And that indeed, their entire scheme or rancher landscape virtues, are based on acquiring a Grazing Permit for what one can term, pretending to be a rancher, but in reality they are not at all. They are simply profitable-posers, based on misinformation and lies – Yes, this simple.
Burdensome to the Bureau of Land management, as well as Welfare Ranchers, is the fact their less than 1% of domestic sales figures, more than demonstrate the unnecessary need for Welfare Ranching. And yet, American Taxpayer’s subsidies this supposed non-industry in the $$$Billions. The latest estimated figure of one pound of not so good hamburger from these Welfare Rancher’s in the west would cost in excess of $942.00 per pound. Wrap your mind around that figure (GAO Report)
Burdensome as well, is the fact this situation requires a tremendous amount of lies, innuendo, misinformation, intimidation and coercion, and throw in many facets of criminal conduct in the pile as well, and we have a situation that actually disrespects’ the American Public and Taxpayers tremendously.
It becomes very obvious to many of us who endeavor into the research and writing about Public Lands and Wild Horses that Welfare Ranching is simply an unneeded necessity in America.
The fact is, if a rancher has 10 acres near Public Lands, perhaps running 10 AUM Units of cattle – 1 Unit = 1 cow/1 calf, and obtains a Grazing Permit, that another millionaire is made purely from taxpayer subsidies. We can also make the statement another way, and simply state what it really is = Welfare.
A very common example: Just as quick as a rancher receives a Grazing Permit, he then receives a loan substantial enough to purchase 3,000 AUM Units of cattle, in order to graze his cattle on America’s Public Lands, and within his allotment of several hundred thousand acres. Often another problem does arise, and the land-issue and ecological system, most often will not support this amount of cattle – so as mentioned above many circumstances develop, and also quite costly to taxpayers.
The misinformation and lies remains substantial, to keep cattle on Public Lands, which overburden the entire Environmental System. Good science also references this quite abundantly — except BLM, who demanded cattle be taken out of any research data that they may fund — so they can blame wild horses and other hooved animals for the tremendous ecosystem-destruction that cattle indeed do …
Now the Bureau of Land Management, because the Grazing Permit has secured this situation of the loan, their land management perspective changes entirely. Now this incompetent government agency’s paradigm, toward this also incompetent Welfare Rancher, has changed, and has to make sure the rancher does not default on their loan. And worse, this non-ending funnel of extravagance and very profitable to Welfare Ranchers, this fellow can also purchase a water well within his allotment – yes, Public lands. And it gets worse . . .
Need we not forget this is on Public Lands, and the Grazing Permit gives them the right to purchase the water-well within their Grazing Permit allotment (i.e. By Policy). This rancher, in this scenario and very true of most Welfare Ranchers, now have control of water, an extravagance in the desert arid areas, that they also sell-back to the government.
Ironically, this rancher will invoice and charge taxpayers, within the realm of subsidies, the amount of gallons used from their purchased water-well to water his own cattle. No one is there to monitor the water used, so an unethical situation turns into an even Large and unmonitored, unchecked, and unregulated money-stream for the Welfare Rancher.
The above is often in the amount of several hundred thousands of dollars to the Welfare Rancher. In Oregon, for example, one Welfare Rancher receives $638,000.00 dollars in subsidies yearly – simply from maintaining a fence-line, that taxpayers subsidized as well, and in total; and also he had purchased a water-well, on Public Lands, and sells it back to himself to water his cattle and pasture lands within his Grazing Permit allotment – his mortgage, which is subsidized through the Grazing Permit as Security to the bank, is $22.4 million dollars, and he had purchased not just a ranch home, but new equipment every few years, a plane, a helicopter, and lord knows how many extravagant vacations and much more.
So it is of no surprise that during a Public meeting in Reno, Nevada the other night, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) personnel blocked any attempt from Wild Horse Advocates to speak. This was a Public Meeting, and “Open” to the Public at large — specifically to question and make suggestions to the BLM in regard to future plans of America’s Public Lands Use.
Welfare Ranchers spoke, Bureau of Land Management personnel spoke and controlled the meeting, and even BLM advocates spoke, as they spoke within the contrived-situation of supporting BLM and Welfare Ranchers.
But the American taxpayers of this land was not represented what so ever and never has been in such meeting as this – and in truth one can say the American Taxpayer was coerced, even bullied off the stage when an attempt was made. So one can honestly can make the statement that BLM, as a government agency, as well as Welfare Ranchers, are out-of-line in total – Both remain a waste of taxpayer money – and both out-of-control and need to be scrutinized as too their necessity and any benefit what so ever to America. From those of us who have studied Public Lands for years now, find no benefit to America’s Public Lands for either the Bureau of Land Management of Welfare Ranching on Public Lands.
We are now confronted with not only misinformation, but bully tactics and coercion tactics from a government agency, and toward the very American Public that pays their tax money yearly, and honestly, and are finally questioning the use of that money. Truthfully, it is about time American’s start questioning the BLM about how frivolous and misguided our tax money is being used!
Just from the fraud, and waste, and misinformation, we are speaking about $-billions upon $-billions of dollars – perhaps why it existed for so long – but now is the time to stop enabling such activity, such criminal behavior, and such unethical actions taking place on America’s Public Lands and by BLM and Welfare Ranching.
The things we have to look at is the necessity — and that can be measured easily — Would America be better off without both the Bureau of Land Management and Welfare Ranching on Public Lands? I posed this question to many biologists, blue-collar workers, veterans, and many other American Taxpayers alike — After discovering the truth — UNEQUVICALLY THE RESPONSE WAS ABOSULTELY YES — AMERICA WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITH BOTH GONE IN TOTAL — American’s have had enough!
January 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm
YES !! The truth shall set our wild horses free I hope and pray. Congress needs to get this. Thanks , John.
January 25, 2015 at 3:00 am
This explains a lot about BLM and most anyone who has dealt with them will agree:
Understand what a pathological liar is. Basically, a pathological liar is someone who tells lies habitually, chronically and compulsively. It has simply become a way of life for this person, to make up things for a variety of reasons and eventually, the truth becomes uncomfortable.
January 25, 2015 at 4:04 am
“Our institutions are too big; they represent not the best but the worst characteristics of human beings. By submitting to huge hierarchies of power, we gain freedom from personal responsibility for what we do and are forced to do – the seduction of it – but we lose the dignity of being real men and women. Power corrupts; attracts the worst and corrupts the best. … Refuse to participate in evil; insist on taking part in what is healthy, generous, and responsible. Stand up, speak out, and when necessary fight back. Get down off the fence and lend a hand, grab a-hold, be a citizen – not a subject.”
― Edward Abbey
January 25, 2015 at 1:16 pm
Thanks for that Abbey quote, grandmagregg. If only more would become citizens instead of watching ball games or shopping. They are so apathetic.
January 25, 2015 at 5:38 pm
Public land ranching in the West certainly has many downsides. It contributes only about 3.5% of all the cows in the country. The BLM spends north of $100 million each year just to keep public land grazing going. Ranchers are now in a curious position. They support the revival of the Sagebrush Rebellion, transferring public lands into state, county and private ownership. Should that happen, and the governmental agencies find, predicatably, that they can’t afford to manage the lands, rancher grazing fees would be much, much higher than is now the case, etc, etc, etc.
January 26, 2015 at 3:05 am
THIS is a totally accurate assessment of “what is going on” regarding the BLM, their mismanagement of the wild horses and the tons of tax dollars we send to them to NOT do their job, the lies they represent as facts, and now, the coercion of many so that their intent prevails. However, there are those in Congress who condone all of this .. beginning with Sen. Harry Reid (NV), former Senate Majority Leader. Reid inspired the BURNS Amendment to the 1971 LAW of protection and management for wild horses and thus gave BLM the slaughter option. He placed Neil Kornze (a former Reid staffer) into position as Head of BLM, and is the highest person we know of in our government who wishes to ‘zero out’ every wild horse herd in the country. And, then, there is Speaker John Boehner, who vowed to “never let the S.A.F.E. Act come to the HOUSE floor for a vote.” Boehner has forgotten just whose HOUSE it is. Reid apparently is more in favor of his job as a Corporate Agriculture type than an elected representative.
March 23, 2015 at 9:28 pm
Well said Elaine.
January 27, 2015 at 1:12 am
The one’s that are in Management in the BLM need to be watch ,Money grabbing people, the are helping the rancher get the use of the land for the cows can eat it up , and our wild mustangs are the one hurting from it, there losing threr home ,family herd and there most of all there lives.. Shame on them for taking the lives of our wild herds … Your not helping your are the one that’s is the problem BLM and the ranchers that want to control the water rights.. This has to stop , this needs to end up on the deck of the house of rep. so they can see where all the money is going to…
January 28, 2015 at 6:45 am
The responsibility of the BLM and the Forest Service is to be the caretakers for the wild horses that belong to the US citizens. Their responsibility does not lie in serving the cattle ranchers who are moochers on public lands.
January 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm
Welfare ranching that Americans pay for while innocent horses and wildlife are being wiped out! BLM/USFS needs to be exposed for the fraud they’ve been committing for years!!
January 29, 2015 at 9:51 pm
I watched the meeting between the BLM Advisory Board and the wild horse advocates. It was one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever witnessed. I have written to both of my Connecticut senators about this and received responses so filled with ignorance they were embarrassing to read. And my senators are for the most part good guys who stand up for animal rights. Clearly they got their information from the ranchers’ lobbyists. I just copied this and will send it to both of them and my congressman.
March 23, 2015 at 9:24 pm
All American’s should know this.
All American’s are getting screwed one way or another. We have interest in want love that’s part of Heritage, Icons, Past History and the land.
We pay taxes and get nothing?
January 31, 2018 at 6:13 pm
I just stumbled upon this. Great article! I’m really curious about the $942/lb for hamburger and how that figure was arrived at. I’d like to use it in future discussions, but want to have proof. Any help pointing me in the right direction would be appreciated.
Photographer and Journalist
February 6, 2018 at 9:53 pm
Socioeconomics’ — LOL I discovered this when I asked about the $75 billion dollars the BLM wants the taxpayers to suppose the BLM has generated in profit, but when asked to confirm, they forwarded me to a socioeconomics’ page, where they make up the numbers, by accumulating everything that takes place on public lands, whether profit, loss, or just walking on it and gas to get there . . . So I took a positive leap into configuring the $$$$ Welfare Ranching profits, along with others of accountant mind sets, and we referenced the money-received by Welfare Ranchers, through government budget pages as well as the GAO pages. Even though a lot of the lease arrangement money’s hidden, which go into one large account, and paid-back to the welfare ranchers via several Big AG lobbied programs, we discovered the $942 per lb. to be a minimal number, rather than an average price, when all is considered on what taxpayers pay-out to welfare ranchers yearly. So that is our minimal for taxpayer price when we see how much our government spends to support Welfare Ranching — so if we were to purchase just Welfare Rancher produced hamburger, and consider all taxpayer money that supported these particular ranching operations, the per pound price of purchase would be as mentioned . . . Or cost of product for that period.