Environmentalists Call for Fair Grazing Fees

Peter G Harrison pgharr at PEG.APC.ORG
Mon Mar 15 20:34:46 EST 1999

This assumes that you can produce vegetable protein from the actual piece of
land.  In many areas it is not feasible - practical and technical and
economic so grazing is still a sound land use policy for many areas.

Yes, the land condition must be maintained.

This sounds like a lot of pretty ignorant foresters sounding off about a
subject of which they seem to know little.  Some sound reasoned debate by a
few range management professionals may be more illuminating.

There is probably no one answer - and yes recreation is damaging the
rangeland / forest / beach etc in many places - if over used.  But how do
you stop / restrict the damage to low limits consistent with access ?  It is
always a balancing act.

Security of access for ranchers / graziers to an area where they have a long
term interest in preserving the range quality may [ not always] help.  There
are also considerations of issues such as fire management, where grazing for
example may be a very desirable management practice.

-----Original Message-----
From: Graham Willers <glw at globalnet.co.uk>
To: ag-forst at net.bio.net <ag-forst at net.bio.net>
Date: Tuesday, 16 March 1999 7:43
Subject: Re: Environmentalists Call for Fair Grazing Fees

>On Fri, 12 Mar 1999 11:17:05 -0800, larry j audsley
><audsley at azstarnet.com> wrote:
>>As a newcomer to this group, I'd like to ask anyone with the patience and
>>inclination to please clarify for me a couple of fundamental issues
>>concerning the public lands grazing controversy.  I make this request
>>fully recognizing that these issues undoubtedly have been discussed here
>>before and that anyone confessing to any degree of naivete concerning an
>>important environmental issue is likely to become dogmeat on any
>>newsgroup in very short order, but maybe someone will take the time to
>>run through these things with me.
>>Does severe overgrazing still occur on public lands, or is this one of
>>those past abuses that has largely been corrected?  Back in the 70s I
>>recall seeing some badly overgrazed land here in southern Arizona, but in
>>my wanderings on public leased lands in the 80s and 90s I haven't seen
>>anything nearly that bad.
>In the highlands of Scotland the main bone of contention over land use
>at this time is the problem of overgrazing.
>The grazing is by (mainly) Red Deer on the higher ground and by sheep
>on the lower ground.
>The numbers of Deer are kept artificially high by the owners (Scotland
>is the last mediaevel fuedal land tenure system left in Europe) who
>make a profit from shooting rights.
>This policy has denuded the hills of forest cover and created a
>species poor 'wet desert' of mainly Calluna and Sphagnum species.
>Lower down the hill  the Common Agricultural Policy grant system pays
>a subsidy per head for sheep. Unsurprisingly this has led to numbers
>rising to the absolute maximum that the land will support without
>actually starving the sheep (though this does happen at times).
>This has permanently damaged the soil in some areas to such an extent
>that it is now unlikely that trees could regenerate even if the sheep
>were removed.
>In recent years steps have been taken to reverse the damage but the
>rich landowners are hard to beat in court (quite often they are the
>judges too!!)  any changes to subsidies are feircely resisted by
>mental Frenchman who quite regularly blockade the country if
>threatened with cutbacks.
>I think they claim  the fact that it takes about 10 times as much land
>to produce a pound of meat protein as it does to produce the same
>amount of vegetable protein renders it a pretty wastefull use of
>resouces in a hungry world.
>Especially as noone actually has to eat meat to stay healthy. The
>reverse if anything.
>Bye for now
>Graham Willers

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