5/15/24

BLM New Mexico, Montana better at stewardship than most: PEER

Livestock grazing isn't a right; it's a privilege and it's ruining public ground throughout the Mountain West.

In 2022 it was reported that cattle grazing of 155 million acres leased on some 21,000 allotments of the 245 million acres overseen by the Bureau of Land Management in thirteen western states now outnumber horses thirty to one. Over 54 million of those acres failed the BLM's Land Health Assessment according to data released through the Freedom of Information Act to the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility or PEER.

Little has changed. 

Some 58% of grazing permits on federal land in critical habitat go without review. On the Western Slope development and habitat fragmentation are behind decreasing sage-grouse numbers. Greater sage grouse habitat is disappearing at a rate of some 1.3 million acres per year much of it in Wyoming but the BLM doesn't record results of the degradation on private land although it's known to be extensive. 

Ginned-up belligerents in the so-called "Freedom Caucus" are whining that 8,576 acres or about .02% of a proposed protection area would be locked out to livestock grazing where the current permittee hasn't run cattle for some 27 years. 

PEER is part of a coalition suing the BLM for lapses in oversight.
According to data released today by the nonpartisan Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), 56.7 million acres of BLM rangeland fail to meet the agency’s land health standards, primarily owing to livestock grazing. Particularly hard-hit are the high, cold deserts of Nevada, Wyoming and southern Idaho; In Nevada alone, approximately 22 million acres of public grazing land do not meet health standards. There are some bright spots: BLM state offices in Montana and New Mexico, for instance, have done a much better job meeting health standards than some of their neighbors, while 83% of Montana’s assessed acreage meets agency standards. [Federal grazing lands fail their checkup]
Brazen vandalism increases perpetrated by the extreme white wing of the Republican Party on BLM public property are attacks on US propelled by thugs like Donald Trump, Kristi Noem and worse

In most cases President Joe Biden should simply find the money, buy out Republican welfare ranchers, remand the ground to the Nations and rewild the West.

ip image: even under overcast skies and stinging wind the centuries etched in the rock at Diablo Canyon are spectacularly humbling.

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