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View Diary: Politico, Tal Kopan, and what's wrong with American political journalism (96 comments)

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  •  Reading that piece got me to thinking (7+ / 0-)

    about all the chump ranchers who actually paid their grazing fees. I wonder what they are thinking?

    •  They are gone (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jay C, NancyWH, Shawn87

      almost all got put out of business at that time. That was the intent.

      Other ranchers in other areas are still in business but of the 53 in that area 50 got put out of business, that was the intent. It wasn't that the range couldn't support the cattle but that there were new allotments that cut most people by 90%, basically cutting out 90% of their business. Desert Tortoise and the ESA.

      Most ranchers knew the tortoise and cows had been coexisting for a hundred years but they just lost a court fight that's all. It happened all over the west. Most people are practical and just sold out to developers or whatever. Holding on to a ranch was dumb.

      When you lose grazing allotments from the feds you lose water rights from the state. No water and your land is worthless.

      It's too bad but it's just how things work. Lots of people get messed over, Bundy was just stupid, tilting at windmills.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:10:09 AM PDT

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      •  There is a severe shortage of water (9+ / 0-)

        that westerners haven't faced up to yet. Ranchers are pikers when it comes to water consumption but everyone in the west needs to find ways to reallocate and reduce water consumption.

        The desert tortoise isn't the only issue that affected policy towards ranchers. That said, court decisions can be blunt instruments.

        No water and we're all screwed.

        That's the key issue in climate change across America.

        “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

        by FishOutofWater on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:28:43 AM PDT

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        •  Yup, need that water in Vegas for prostitutes and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          gambling. We send ours to Los Angeles.

          Feeding people needs to take second place to swimming pools, and golf courses.

          The tortoise is when and why they changed the quota for AUMs. Ranchers lost that's all. Lots of people get messed over all the time. Thing to do is buck up and make the best of it. People get put off their land all the time, smart people sell out to a housing development while there's time or one of those gazillionaires looking for a place to ride horses in the winter.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:37:03 AM PDT

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          •  Why dont they buy their own land? (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yoshimi, TracieLynn, NancyWH, groupw, Shawn87

            I certainly dont give a shit about a turtle. Or tortoise or whatever. But I dont see why folks in the meat business feel they need public property to stay in business.

            •  Like the people in the logging and oil (6+ / 0-)

              industry using federal land. I have no problem if the people of the United States are compensated.

            •  They do have their own land, it's just not worth (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NancyWH, Shawn87

              much without the grazing rights that surround it.

              Most ranches clear about $40K a year in profit, that's average. We Americans made a decision that we'd allow those folks who were already ranching to continue to do so on the open range. Multiple use and all. We figured it was a benefit to us all. But open range sucks, people over graze because it belongs to all, so we switched to grazing rights and the BLM and AUMs to make better use of the land and stop over grazing.

              Still later we decided we'd rather just have dessert and take that water for cities. So we did. It's our land, multiple use and all. What's funny is a lot of that land is still locked up in grazing rights for gentlemen absent landowners. A small amount of cattle rented out so an absentee landowner who really just wants a warm 10,000 square foot house out there in the desert with 10.000 acres of surrounding grazing rights for fifty cattle and authentic looking cowboys. They can even sell the conservation easements to offset large profits in the stock market.

              Bundy was just a hold out. Crazy too.

              “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

              by ban nock on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:54:05 AM PDT

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              •  Well, elections have consequences. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NancyWH, Bryce in Seattle, ban nock


                And I say this as a person who very much enjoys meat. Seems to me they have their cattle ranch in the wrong location if they cant graze em on their own land.

                •  From what I read from other folks in the area who (1+ / 0-)
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                  used to be ranchers they think about as you do. Courts have consequences, sometimes you lose other times you don't. When you lose it's best to just move on best you can, he could have done that twenty years ago, instead he makes a big stink. Ignoring the law isn't going to do him any good either. a month or two or ten from now they'll just take his stuff. Those other 50 ranchers figured it out, and the two besides him that still remain figured something out.

                  “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                  by ban nock on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:16:15 PM PDT

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            •  Can't rec this idea (2+ / 0-)
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              NancyWH, i saw an old tree today
              dont give a shit about a turtle. Or tortoise or whatever
              as wildlife are sentinels for the health of the environment.

              But I do agree with this thought

              I dont see why folks in the meat business feel they need public property to stay in business.

              Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

              by Catskill Julie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:10:13 AM PDT

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            •  This is exactly the part that I don't get... (0+ / 0-)
              He claims the land belongs to the state of Nevada.
              O.K. lets play "pretend the crazy person is right" for a sec.

              So what if it was Nevada land and not Federal land, that still doesn't make it "Bundy" land. When your cows are grazing on someone else's land there are usage fees that need to be paid.

              So ya why can't he keep his cows on his own land if he doesn't want to pay for grazing? f'ing TAKER.


              New Plan: Obamacare Old Plan: Nobodycares

              by groupw on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:08:10 AM PDT

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            •  We tried 'do whatever you want on your own land'. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dirtandiron, offgrid, missississy, matx

              The result was the Dust Bowl.

              Black blizzards over D.C.

              Overheard a Frenchman trying to explain Thomas Freidman to a Brit "He's got shit for brains -- but that's his asset. That's why he appeals to the US bourgeoisie."

              by JesseCW on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:56:04 PM PDT

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            •  Sorry, but you should give a shit. (0+ / 0-)

              As Blue Tortoise explained here, desert tortoises are an "indicator species," representing, if you will, all the other plants and animals in the Mohave ecosystem. Protecting them protects everything else.
              But why should you care about a desert 3,000 miles away from you at all? (Or the boreal forest currently in the way of getting at the Alberta tar sands, or...) There are so many ways to answer that, that I don't know where to begin. To say that everything is connected to everything else probably sounds like sentimental pastoralism from the perspective of Brooklyn. Maybe I'll just appeal to the idea that my enemy's enemy is my friend. The ideology underlying anti-conservationism is that there is no value but money; and that ideology is as hostile to human life as it is to animal life.

              "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

              by dumpster on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 11:49:05 AM PDT

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          •  It's not an either or. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catwho, NancyWH

            Ranching and Vegas are not sustainable. Like you said, the ranchers have to deal with it - soon the casinos will too.

          •  They didn't get "put off their land", (3+ / 0-)

            they got put off of OUR land, for abusing it. They still have their own land, if they actually owned it.

            •  he he, ya, where's that title from 1850? No deed (1+ / 0-)
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              and we can do as we want eh? That pile of cow poop looks abusive to me. Outah here goat roper! I love seeing whole towns moved for dams and rubber companies and stuff. Happens all over, who says that land is theirs? Peasants are peasants the world over.

              “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

              by ban nock on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:04:14 AM PDT

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          •  I've heard this tune before (0+ / 0-)

            Honest hard-working rural people of the land with dirt on their boots versus corrupt decadent city-dwellers.

            Do a little digging and you'll find it at the center of every extremist ideology of the last century.

            If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

            by Major Kong on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:50:25 PM PDT

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        •  Well, cities waste a lot of water on bullshit. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          puakev, blueoasis, NancyWH

          Especially in the West where water is scarce. Who actually thinks its smart to grow a lawn in a fuckin desert?

        •  Trying to raise cattle in Nevada, for the most (1+ / 0-)
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          part, is as unnatural as a golf course. Bison didn't roam the prairies of Nevada before the Europeans got here.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:39:51 PM PDT

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      •  The tortise and cows were "co-existing" (6+ / 0-)

        so well that the tortoise is almost extinct.

        And I'm curious - how do you "sell out to developers" when you have lost, not the right to graze cattle on your own land, but rather a permit to abuse large tracts of publicly owned land for pennies an acre? It isn't like they can sell the public land they lost the use of.

        And why do you need water "rights" to provide water for the cattle on public lands that you are no longer allowed to have cattle on? It isn't like they lost any rights appurtenant to their own land. So how did their land become "worthless"?

        The problem has long been that these ranchers consider our public lands to belong to them, to use and abuse as they please. It appears you share this delusion.

      •  Sorry. Ranchers have been grazing THEIR cattle (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NancyWH, unfangus

        on OUR land for pennies on the dollar for too long. Having accepted this welfare from their fellow taxpayers all these years, they still have the nerve to cry and moan about wildlife, bison, wolves, etc.--that belong on OUR public lands far more than someone's for-profit cattle--and demand the right to slaughter them if they wander out of a park and on to still-PUBLIC OWNED land that they are using on the cheap!

        In addition, some of these ranchers also allow their stock to tresspass and rampage on neighboring PRIVATE owned land and threaten their land-owning neighbors if they dare to complain. (See Montana)

        What Americans need to understand is that corporations and ranchers who PROFIT from using our public lands are not paying their freight yet exercising outsized influence.

        These lands belong to ALL of us Americans, with appropriate apologies to native Americans. They did long before johnny-come-lately state lines were drawn around them as their residents ASKED to become STATES in this nation and citizens of the US. And btw, a new line drawn on a map did not convey ownership of all lands within to the new state! Duh.

        Our rights--the OWNERS of these lands--to decide HOW we want them managed and WHAT VALUES we want them to serve have been trampled. The public needs to wise up and support federal employees when they finally make some effort to enforce OUR land rights! For far too long federal agencies have kowtowed to these crybaby welfare queens.

        Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

        by Catskill Julie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:07:00 AM PDT

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        •  People will have to quit eating meat (0+ / 0-)

          if you really want the cattle grazing on public lands to be stopped.

          •  No, they will just have to pay a higher monetary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            cost.  Paying a higher health cost (at least in so-called first world countries this has been a result of a "better" diet) and higher environmental costs (habitat destruction of native species like the desert tortoise) are already accepted.  Now it's time for the free market price of beef to kick in and go up as a possible consequence.

            •  There is not enough private land (0+ / 0-)

              to support all the cattle we presently have grazing. You would have to have CAFOs to feed them.

              Of course, an end to grazing would probably mean opening up a lot of public land to mining and drilling interests instead.

          •  Wise choice for so many reasons. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Won't happen, obviously.

            Tar sands, fracking and deep water drilling are expensive. Crude oil price exceeded $100/bbl in 2008 where it still hovers. NH₃ based fertilizer feeds an estimated ⅓ of the world with the Haber-Bosch process using natural gas as a feedstock.

            by FrY10cK on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 04:57:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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