Letter: Grazing solutions
I am a local resident who is married to a third generation Coloradan from a ranching family. Instead of wasting our tax dollars on defending ranchers who have overgrazed their land, why don’t our county commissioners invest that money in rehabilitating that same land?
As everyone, ranchers and conservationists alike, knows, the BLM does a pretty poor job of managing land. The vast majority of BLM land in Colorado is in poor condition due directly to overgrazing of cattle and sheep.
The last wolves and grizzly bears were wiped out in Colorado a century ago to make ranching easier, and now instead of addressing overgrazing we are once again killing predators (mountain lions and black bears) to appease the ranching community.
We need to be more proactive and less reactive. Take the resources from predator kill studies and lawsuits and actually help the ranchers manage their livestock better. If they need money to pay cowboys and girls to keep their herds moving to avoid overgrazing and predators, give it to them. If they need money to implement fencing around riparian areas, give it to them.
Then after real help is offered, the ranchers who refuse to actually be stewards of our land should lose their leases. Public land is, after all, not a just a resource for the few privileged enough to walk it daily but a trust fund for the future. Please for the good of all Coloradans don’t start another politically charged battle between ranchers and conservationists. We can do better and your constituents expect better.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
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