Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ranchers react to ruling on grazing permits

Idaho ranchers expressed disappointment with Monday’s U.S. District Court ruling requiring the Bureau of Land Management to release the names and addresses of grazing permit holders. “We see this as an invasion of privacy,” said Wyatt Prescott, executive vice president of the Idaho Cattlemen’s Association. The Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians sued for the information under the Freedom of Information Act, and the judge ruled that the public’s need to know about public land use outweighed any privacy concerns. Jon Marvel, Western Watersheds executive director, said the ruling forwarded the cause of transparency in government. Prescott said Marvel’s intent had little to do with transparency. “This is just part of an anti-grazing agenda,” Prescott said. “This is a threat to those families, but not from the standpoint that they’re doing anything wrong.” Prescott said Western Watersheds has the resources to tie ranchers up in litigation until they go broke. He said that would affect the vast majority of Idaho cattle ranchers because most use public land, including corporations such as J.R. Simplot Co. and Agri Beef Co...more

1 comment:

Brett said...

This is similar to the problems faced by CCW permit holders. The legal system does not appear to have a reliable mechanism to balance transparency with personal privacy. In both cases, this is probably more the result of the constitutional system being dumped, and putting Uncle Sam into the land trade. As usual, conflicting promises are made to different people, with no clear solution. Public records are just that, but how does that relate to these historically semi-private contracts? Better grab yer night latch...

I would again suggest that we focus our efforts on reforming or killing the programs that help subsidize WWP and friends' litigation.