Environmentalists Call for Fair Grazing Fees

TREES4WOOD trees4wood at aol.com
Sun Mar 14 13:21:14 EST 1999

>Recreation uses do NOT
>cause damage to the public lands; or at least, very little.

I beg to differ.  If you go to the Bob Marshall wilderness in Montana, the main
access trail is literally five feet below the ground surface because of
recreationists who insist on horse packing in.  It is one heck of a site to
see.  Also what about the ORV users who are tearing up the deserts and other
landscapes?  Finally, the issue of roads.  The USFS does not build roads for
recreation uses, they utilize existing logging roads and maintain them for
tourists (which by the way comes out of the timber budget).

>Actually, on federal land, timber does NOT pay it's way. The USFS lost a
>billion bucks last year.

If you look at the cost figure of a timber sale and what it takes to establish
a timber sale then I do believe the costs do balance out.  If you add in all
the other factors the USFS adds in (like road maintenance, legal fees, etc.)
then the figures do not add up.

>Grazing pay its way? Not at all. The pennies
>grazers pay do not cover the cost of the damage.

While grazing is cheaper on public land there is a good reason for it.  On
public land, the lessee has to maintain his own lease.  On private land, the
landowner maintains the property.  The condition of the land will also be
enhanced on private (i.e. fertilization, noxious weed control) vs. public.

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