The shine of the golden saddle


The grazing buyout is sometimes referred to as a "golden saddle" (HCN, 1/23/12, "Detente in the grazing wars?"). I like that. Even though grazing permits are not rights, the buyouts recognize that grazing permits have been treated as such and are of value to the permittee. I like how it is a free market solution, putting together willing buyers and willing sellers. It strikes me as strange that the grazing industry stands against the individual rights of the rancher when it comes to buyouts. They won't be the end of the industry, will represent a much-needed capital infusion into our small, rural towns, and will help the strapped budgets of the BLM and Forest Service, since a lot of what those agencies do is provide and support rangeland for ranchers at taxpayer expense. And man, will buyouts help relieve the fragile Western environment of some grazing pressure.

Mark Bailey
Torrey, Utah

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