Bighorn National Forest proposing kill of native plants for livestock grazing

If livestock grazing is the key to preventing wildfires why is ranch country still suffering from near daily extreme grassland fire danger indices? Because Republicans are evil. The lightning caused Crater Ridge Fire has burned 6,232 acres on and around the Bighorn National Forest since its start July 17. 

Desertification driven by agricultural practices, overgrazing, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and urban sprawl have turned much of the United States into scorched earth. Republican welfare ranchers are the real ecoterrorists who hate socialism unless they benefit from subsidies like cheap grazing fees on public lands. While the pesticide industry that greases politicos doesn’t give a shit about anything but profit native species are being driven from historic habitat by the descendants of European colonizers.

The Medicine Bow National Forest, the US Department of Agriculture and Wyoming Game & Fish have begun spraying the herbicide Rejuvra®, a Bayer CropScience indaziflam with a helicopter on cheatgrass in a 9,200 acre area within the Mullen Fire perimeter with the hopes of reducing, maybe even eradicating its presence.

Environmental groups are pushing back on the Bighorn National Forest's plan to spray a herbicide banned in Europe since 2002 on some 5,100 acres of native mountain big sagebrush and larkspur. The Forest Service burns about 600 acres of sagebrush in the Bighorns each year to accomodate the livestock industry. To kill invasives the Bighorn would apply imazapic and despite its ban in Europe, tebuthiuron, an indaziflam manufactured by Dow AgroSciences. 

Alternatives include no action or burning the invasives ventenata and medusahead and thinning larkspur and sagebrush without aerial spraying. Even a Wyoming Game & Fish Department habitat specialist recommends prescriptive fire instead of poisoning. 

Imagine what herbicides are doing to species like Townsend’s Big-eared bats. Wyoming Game and Fish discovered white nose syndrome at Devils Tower National Monument in early May.
The level of grazing today is “far beyond what the ecosystem could support,” Western Watersheds Project said in its comments. The Bighorn also didn’t address how adding more of the herbicide to existing amounts in the area might affect human health, Andy Stahl, the executive director of [Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics], wrote. Hummingbirds, too, feed on larkspur, Bighorn Audubon and the Bighorn Council said in a letter to supporters. Broad-tailed hummingbirds “drink nectar from the flowers and pollinate them,” the letter reads. Larkspur isn’t the interloper, FSEEE said. “Livestock are an invasive species on the Bighorn,” Stahl’s comment letter reads. [Wyofile, Bighorn Forest plan for weeds, sagebrush sparks battle]
The black bears, wolves, and moose sighted in the Black Hills migrate from the Bighorn Mountains down the Tongue River across the Powder to the Pumpkin Buttes where the Cheyenne and Belle Fourche Rivers begin then go up Beaver Creek near Newcastle into upper Castle Creek and down Rapid Creek to the Black Fox/Rochford area or north across Minnesota Ridge on the upper Limestone into Lawrence County.

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