By as published on The Wildlife News
BLM plans to expand Public Land destruction caused by Welfare Ranching
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is rewriting its grazing regulations to allow more “flexibility” into range management. The agency even proposes increases in grazing seasons and numbers. All of this, of course, is the result of the pressure from the fox (Trump administration) guarding the hen house.
I think most career BLM employees know these changes will only lead to further degradation of our rangelands. Unfortunately, if you are a BLM employee, you must keep your head down, or you will be out of a job.
One of the excuses used to expand grazing is to reduce wildfires. While grazing grasses might appear to make sense as a fuel reduction effort to those who are unfamiliar with fire ecology, the reality is more nuanced.
Reducing the invasion of cheatgrass is given as the rationale for more livestock grazing, however, the agency, ranchers, range “scientists ignore the many studies that link livestock grazing and cheatgrass spread.
For instance, a recent paper concluded: “Results also suggest that cattle grazing reduces invasion resistance (to cheatgrass) by decreasing bunchgrass abundance, shifting bunchgrass composition, and thereby increasing connectivity of gaps between perennial plants while trampling further reduces resistance by reducing BSC (biological soil crusts).”…(CONTINUED)