Wuerthner: Tony Dean Wilderness "Ironic"

In his latest New West post, author George Wuerthner mentions S. 3310 coming up as a part of the upcoming, likely doomed Omnibus Wilderness Bill:

SOUTH DAKOTA: America has very little of its native prairie in any protected status. Most of the plains have been carved up by till farming, and the rest is grazed by livestock. Tony Dean Cheyenne River Valley Conservation Act would correct this by designating 48,000 acres as wilderness in the Indian Creek, Red Shirt and Chalk Hills areas of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland on the borders of Badlands NP.

Walking these vast open breathing spaces reminds me of being on the vastness of tundra in Alaska. It’s a sense of freedom that is more difficult to experience in more forested terrain. As with any designated wilderness, livestock grazing will continue. This is particularly ironic since Tony Dean, who was an outdoor writer in South Dakota, railed against welfare ranchers and their impact on the state for decades.


Update: Text of Omibus Wilderness Bill.


Wayne Gilbert said...

I am given to understand that grazing is actually important if not essential to the health of the prairie grasses, and for that reason grazing will and should continue. Additionally, I think that the Wilderness Act itself and regulations promulgated thereunder have always permitted pre-existing grazing to continue. As is often the case with projects or proposals like this which tend to be considered "fringe," the misinformation is both voluminous and repeated and repeated.

larry kurtz said...

Here is one of my favorite authors explaining some of that, Wayne. And here is one for whom ip actually worked.

Thank you for coming by.