Environmentalists Call for Fair Grazing Fees

Graham Willers glw at globalnet.co.uk
Wed Mar 17 12:47:21 EST 1999

On 15 Mar 1999 17:34:46 -0800, pgharr at PEG.APC.ORG ("Peter G Harrison")

>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.
Whoah! Hold your horse partner.
I am the first to admit I dont know anything about cattle ranching.
I was just suggesting - very broadly - the way the great unwashed
public might see it.
However, the word 'grazing' over in this part of the world usually
brings up the problem of Deer destroying the forests and sheep
degrading the soil and  while I am no expert I have studied
Conservation Management and Forest Management and spent 24 years
involved with the issues. I therefore stick by my augument about the
need to radically reduce Deer and sheep numbers in Scotland.

>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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