Louise Ahart: Comments on American Prairie Reserve Bison Restoration:
(in response to TSLN’s May 12 story “Free range bison stir up dispute on grazing”)
Mog Tahoe National Forest Pass Creek Allotment, since 1980, was given an environmental assessment. They would not let me see it until it was completed. Three “specialists” wrote this. Water ran west in my allotment; They said the water ran east. These Phds don’t know what they’re doing.
No one cares for the land like someone who has a vested interest in its long term functioning. There is no reference to elimination of buffalo if they overpopulate or damage the environment.
Electronic fence – who’s going to maintain the “hot wire” in summer, let alone winter?
Bison are known to leave Yellowstone Park when the winter gets too cold or feed is gone.
APR has the money, but doesn’t do the work of a rancher. Year round grazing is not good, because bison will roam. Since bison get Brucellosis and they are “government cows,” I suggest getting all bison in and checking their blood in a chute, to see if they have Brucellosis, and kill them if they are infected.
California state vet Anita Edmondson, said to me, Brucellosis vaccine doesn’t work on bison, just on bos Taurus cattle, which the vaccine was developed for.
To tear up ranchers’ contracts with the BLM, after years of continued maintenance of the allotment, is dishonest for the government to do to the ranchers in question.
They are being removed through no fault of their own.
Public access, hunting, fishing, is not what BLM or Forest Service were established for. They are not the department of recreation.
Each of the 18 grazing allotments should have their own Environmental Assessment. They are all different, and have specific issues.
You have no idea, unless you raise cattle, what USA producers are going through. We import beef as aid in the form of trade with 23 countries.
When they took Country of Origin Labeling off meat in December of 2016, our prices on the hoof dropped considerably (30 cents in one month) and never came back. To say this bison deal will not affect the ranchers is ridiculous – absent minded- and from someone who doesn’t know the truth.
“The US cattle industry has shrunk at an alarming rate: 20 percent of all U.S. cattle operations have exited the industry, the nation’s cow herd shriveled to the smallest size in over 70 years, and in 2014 and 2015 U.S. beef production feel to the lowest level in over two decades,” said R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard.
So to say the BLM dumping the cattle grazers, who depend on their grazing allotments, in favor of restoring bison, will NOT have a socio-economic effect on the families and communities is not true.
In 1975, I bought a one-ton for $3,600. And today they’re going for $43,000. Ranchers have no cost of living adjustment.
Economics at the ranch is tight. How can you destroy these ranchers’ livelihoods, families, and communities by ripping their allotments that they depend on away for bison? That’s heartless.
Cc: President Trump
Western Ag Reporter
Tri-State Livestock News
PS: eat bone-in meat. They can’t import bone from Mexico or South America because of FMD or Canada because of BSE unless killed here.
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Earl cartoon by Big Dry Syndicate for the May 14, 2022, edition of Tri-State Livestock News