Thursday, July 01, 2010

Johnson wants to meet with upset ranchers

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said he is willing to meet with ranchers to discuss their concerns about their grazing activities on federal grasslands that would be part of a 48,000 wilderness area near the Badlands National Park. Johnson said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning that his bill to create the federal wilderness -- the first on national grasslands -- will protect the land without infringing on the existing rights of landowners to graze livestock and control noxious weeds and prairie dogs. Most of the land already is managed as an area without roads, he said, so the wilderness designation will extend that protection in law. "It is managed as wilderness country now, and this does not take away from that," Johnson said. "If anything, the rights ranchers have now will be improved under this wilderness bill."...more

Senator, grazing was an after thought in the Wilderness Act; a compromise to get the bill passed. It is stuck under the Special Provisions section of the bill and is considered by many to be a nonconforming use.

There is no grazing occurring on the original allotments in the Gila Wilderness. Come on Senator, look what wilderness has done to ranchers all over the west.

And I'm sick and tired of having politicians, environmentalists and the media tell me grazing, border security, etc. "will be improved" under wilderness. It's a distortion of the facts used to bamboozle the local folks and get them to agree to wilderness designations.

Well, the local folks are catching on and you're going to need a new ruse to fool them.

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