Book says cows don't belong on most BLM lands

  • Book cover of "The Western Range Revisited"

  Debra Donahue, a law professor at the University of Wyoming with an M.S. degree in wildlife biology, has gathered biology, economics and history in her The Western Range Revisited: Removing Livestock from Public Lands to Conserve Native Biodiversity.


Her proposal to evict livestock from arid rangelands receiving less than 12 inches of precipitation annually is not new, but her massing in one place the legal, historical, scientific and economic arguments to justify the eviction is a first.


Rebuttals to her arguments are flying thick and fast in Wyoming. A few of her critics have even read her book. Chief among those is Tom Thurow, who teaches natural resources at the University of Wyoming. He argues that Western grazing lands "developed with large grazing animals present" and that the solution to deteriorated rangeland is "proper stocking rates and use patterns."


On the legal and historical landscape, Donahue argues that the commonly quoted phrase in the 1934 Taylor Grazing Act - -chiefly valuable for grazing' - does not mean that the crafters of the nation's first grazing legislation had determined that the lands were chiefly valuable for grazing. Instead, she says, they were delineating the responsibility of the Interior Secretary to weigh the value of public lands for grazing along with wildlife and biodiversity, protecting watersheds and other functions.


She also argues that the "larger social context" of changing environmental values needs to be part of BLM decision-making, and that the influence of public lands on the national livestock industry is negligible: Only 2 percent of cattle forage and 5 percent of sheep forage comes from the public range.


The Western Range Revisited can be ordered from University of Oklahoma Press in Norman, Okla., at 800/627-7377, or on the Web at www.ou.edu/oupress. The hardcover is available for $47.95.


*Katharine Collins
High Country News Classifieds
  • DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks a friendly, detail-oriented, and self-motivated Development Coordinator to provide administrative support to the Development department. This position will report to...
  • FIELD ORGANIZER, MONTANA
    Help Northern Plains Resource Council protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life. Work hard, meet good people, make the...
  • FOR SALE
    Successful llama trekking business with Yellowstone National Park concession for sale! A fun and enriching business opportunity of a lifetime! Call 406-580-5954
  • ALBUQUERQUE VACATION HOME
    Centrally located. One bed, one bath, lovely outdoor patio, well-stocked kitchen.
  • NEW AGRARIAN PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Quivira (www.quiviracoaltion.org), a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that aims to shift current practices of agriculture and land stewardship to those that produce good food, support meaningful...
  • SPECTACULAR SCENIC MOUNTAIN VIEW HOME BUILDING SITE
    Located on top of Sugarloaf Mtn. 5 mi W of downtown Colorado Springs, CO. $80,000.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    opportunity in Eugene, Oregon! To learn more and to apply, visit our website at www.bufordpark.org.
  • FUNDRAISING & OUTREACH COORDINATOR
    Does the prospect of working to protect one of the Southwest's last remaining flowing rivers get you excited? Join the team at Friends of the...
  • DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT SPECIALIST
    Position Summary Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks a dynamic, organized, and creative Digital Engagement Specialist to be an essential part of our growing Communications Team....
  • NORTH IDAHO FIELD REPRESENTATIVE
    Founded by sportsmen and women 1936, the Idaho Wildlife Federation (IWF) is a statewide nonprofit dedicated to conserving and enhancing Idaho's natural resources, wildlife, habitat,...
  • SMALL HISTORICAL FARM FOR SALE - NEW MEXICO
    23-acres, adobe home, shop, barn, gardens, pasture, orchard. https://www.zillow.com/homes/222-Calle-Del-Norte,-Monticello,-Nm_rb/ or call 575-743-0135.
  • NEW MEXICO GILA NATIONAL FOREST HORSE RANCH
    43 acres in the Gila National Forest. Horse facility, custom home. Year round outdoor living. REDUCED to: $1.17 MM 575-536-3109
  • GRANTS MANAGER AND EDITOR
    Are you a strong communicator who excels at building relationships, writing winning grant proposals, and staying organized? You sound like a good fit for our...
  • REPORTER
    The Wallowa County Chieftain, has an opening for a reporter. Experience with and understanding of editorial photography also required. Journalism degree or equivalent, an understanding...
  • 2017 JOHN DEERE LAWN MOWER Z930R
    15 hours on it, 3 years warranty, 22,5 HP, $1600 Sale price. Contact: [email protected]
  • OWN YOUR OWN CANYON - 1400 SF STRAW-BALE ECO-HOME ON 80 ACRES - 3 HOURS FROM L.A.
    1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • HEAD BREAD/PASTRY BAKER AND ASSISTANT POSITIONS
    Hiring Part/Full time for Summer Season - entry level & experienced positions. Year round employment for optimal candidates. Pay DOE.
  • EVERLAND MOUNTAIN RETREAT
    Everland Mountain Retreat includes 318 mountaintop acres with a 3,200 square foot lodge and two smaller homes. Endless vistas of the Appalachian mountains, open skies,...
  • COUNTRY ESTATE NEAR KINGS CANYON AND SEQUOIA PARKS
    Spectacular views of snowcapped Sierras. 15 miles from Kings Canyon/Sequoia Parks. 47 acres with 2 homes/75' pool/gym/patios/gardens. 1670 sq.ft. main home has 3 bdrm/1 bath....
  • GILA NATIONAL FOREST NEW MEXICO
    Beautiful off-the-grid passive solar near the CDT. 9.4 acres, north of Silver City. Sam, 575.388.1921