Horse News

Public Lands Livestock Grazing Got You Down? TAKE ACTION

Source: Wilderness Watch

Urge Congress to support the Rural Economic Vitalization Act!

Most Americans are shocked when they find out that ranchers are allowed to graze their private livestock on our public lands – including deep within protected Wilderness areas – for literally pennies on the dollar.

Welfare Ranching StatsSTOP WELFARE RANCHING!

In fact, the federal public lands grazing program is among the most wasteful, environmentally damaging and economically inefficient uses of our public lands, costing U.S. taxpayer a whopping $120 million annually! When you consider additional direct and indirect costs, it’s estimated that the federal public lands grazing program on just national forests and Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-administered lands may costs as much as $500 million to $1 billion annually – all to provide only 3% of all the beef in the country.

One potential solution to this problem a piece of legislation called the (Rural Economic Vitalization Act (H.R. 3410). This bill would allow federal grazing permit users to waive their grazing permit back to the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management in exchange for compensation by a third party. The associated grazing allotments would then be permanently retired from livestock grazing use.

Retiring grazing permits on America’s public lands protects Wilderness, eliminates negative impacts to watersheds, native fish, wildlife (Wild Horses & Burros), plants, and saves tax dollars.

Stop Welfare Ranching!  Click (HERE) to Help

(Disclaimer: SFTHH is not endorsing nor soliciting donations for Wilderness Watch.)

14 replies »

  1. Of course, this sounds like a excellent way to stop subsidizing public lands grazing, and I went to read about the details. My concern would be, with the cows out of the way, what is to stop the government from attempting to realize a MORE profitable “use” of the public lands by reassigning the same permit areas for oil, gas and mineral leasing plots? I can’t see that this is addressed by the bill—does anyone else know? Too often, these “economic” views are completely ignoring of “externalities” or the true cost analysis of what we do—i.e. the damage to soils, water and air by extractive industry. The cost of climate change to everyone, while Big Oil makes a profit (and with subsidies of their own….) are not factored in as real costs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Susan, the only way to change this situation is to get Congress to change the BLM’s mandate, which requires “multiple use” without any accounting for the externalities, only the potential income compared to no income. It’s too easy to blame the BLM but we have to keep in mind they are employees of a bureaucracy created by Congress, so only Congress can realistically create changes. Folks on the ground have some discretion, sure, but not much, and it’s worth remembering the type of people who are attracted to working for bureaucracies are not generally “outside the box” types, and this sort of personality is not encouraged when hiring. We have to aim higher to produce any meaningful results, in my opinion. So go vote next week for congressional officials who are willing to listen and to propose changes. Tell us if you find any!!!!!


      • I only mention the issues I wrote because many do not realize the reach of the corporate powers—not that I have any answers for the failure to quantify true costs. The economic system of the modern era is stacked to operate the way it does, which means “true cost analysis” is not part of it. Only the most honest and perceptive and unprejudiced of economists (Hazel Henderson is one) realize the way we are overdrawing the “Natural Capital” that underpins all life, truly. One thing that DOES seem to slow down the corporatacracy is legal maneuvers by organizations like Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biological Diversity and others with the legal acumen to outwit the sometimes bumbling bureaucracy and its mendacious cohorts in the profiting world.


  2. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported the federal government spends at least $144 million each year managing private livestock grazing on federal public lands, but collects only $21 million in grazing fees—for a net loss of at least $123 million per year.
    Considering the additional direct and indirect costs not included in the GAO report, economists have estimated that the federal public lands grazing on only BLM and Forest Service lands may cost as much as $500 million to $1 billion annually.

    Click to access factsheet_Grazing_Fiscal_Costs(3).pdf

    “What can be done to address the problems associated with public lands livestock grazing? There is a simple answer: end it. Get the cows and sheep off, let the wild creatures reclaim their native habitat, and send the ranchers a bill for the cost of restoration.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely! It is a disgrace how these bloated ticks are parasitizing millions of acres of the public lands as well as private lands and their ecosystems and being subsidized by the taxpayer and catered to by our so called public servants to do so! This is an abomination in the true Biblical sense of the word!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. While I approve of finding better ways to eliminate grazing permits on public lands (especially in “wilderness” areas – how can grazing domestic livestock equivocate in any way with considering a place “wilderness?) one thing troubles me here.

    With all due respect to ranchers entrenched in the system our government created, the grazing permits were ALWAYS and very clearly described as a PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT. So the notion of having someone else foot the bill to by off something that is legally revokable at any time by the BLM is a bit hard to swallow.

    I’d rather see something more fiscally responsible proposed, perhaps attenuating permits over a few years to give ranchers time to adjust operations, and setting a flat fee on a permit buyout at the precise AUM rate charged the permittees (not the market value of private lands grazing). Anything more would be a corruption of policy and a further injustice to beleaguered taxpayers. In the meantime USDA might grant US taxpayers a reduction in beef prices correlative to the amount of subsidies we already have to pay for.

    In other words, why should third parties have to foot the bill? Government is paid for by all of us using taxes we have little control over, and it both created and (we) paid for this mess. Expecting a bailout from interested but innocent third parties is in my view a wrong direction to pursue. We already have the means in place to end grazing permits legally, we simply lack the political will to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree! About wilderness being a place WITHOUT domestic grazing and how about “retiring” allotments – not “buying” them back (as you said – these allotments belong to US – not someone who has leased & used & abused them) – simply allowing the public land to be put to the purpose it should be – giving habitat to wildlife – ALL wildlife! The ridiculous belief that anything that doesn’t produce a profit is unimportant comes from corporate entities who EXIST only to produce a profit! The warm feeling & joy I get from seeing wild animals in the wild sure is a better kind of “profit”! RT’s, Carol’s & Ginger’s (& others) pictures of our wild horses & burros sure do make my day – am I right?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Moral Dilimia and commented:
    Ranchers have done serious damage for decades destroying our environments, esp. by polluting our planet with methane for a corrupt special interests. Science has proved methane produced from “farming” animals is an admitted 51% of Global Warming.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Opportunity to participate in a discussion panel:

    National Forest & Rangeland Management Initiative Webinar: The Future of Wild Horse & Burro Management

    wildhorsesblmsiteThe Western Governors’ Association will host a webinar on Nov. 10 as part of its series for the National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative.

    The Future of Wild Horse and Burro Management: Challenges and Opportunities will examine the economic and environmental impacts of wild horses and burros on western rangelands and rangeland dependent communities. Panelists will discuss the challenges associated with responsible and humane management of horses and burros on public lands and possible solutions to ballooning wild horse and burro populations.

    Register now to watch the moderated discussion and participate in an question and answer session.


    When: Thursday, Nov. 10; 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. MST
    Panelists: Kathleen Clarke, Director, Utah Public Lands Coordinating Office; JJ Goicoechea, Eureka County Commission Chair, Eureka County, NV; Callie Hendrickson, Executive Director, White River & Douglas Creek Conservation Districts in Rio Blanco County, CO; Tammy Pearson, Commissioner, Beaver County, UT; Dr. Eric Thacker, Professor of Wildland Resources, Utah State University.


  7. Thanks for letting us know about this, Icy. From the names I recognize on the panel, it appears this will clearly be an ANTI wild horse and burro meeting. Although it does say they will take questions, I imagine the questions might be screened and I doubt they will allow any true facts sneak in to the meeting and only their typical “over-population” type of propaganda will be voiced over and over again. What a feast this will be for the pro-slaughter, anti wild horse and burro people.


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.