Why I believe BLM Managed Lands in the West Should be Retired from Livestock Use

by Jon Marvel

With only 1.1% of the beef production in the United States coming from BLM managed lands in the west, and a management system where all costs exceed income by a factor of eight to twelve, there is no economic reason to continue an activity that has resulted in the essential destruction of 80% of stream systems, the elimination of water quality and radical modification of wildlife and native plant habitat. It is time to start the end of this destructive use. I propose that public lands ranchers petition their representatives in Congress, who have always been ready to do their bidding, to provide for a buy out of whatever interest in these lands ranchers may have. If they fail to do this, they face inevitable economic extinction as their livestock use withers in the face of environmental and economic realities many of which they have brought down on themselves by their selfish and heedless excesses over many decades.

Jon Marvel is executive director of WWP. He lives in Hailey, Idaho.

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