THE WESTERNER sez:
I'm in total agreement with Wilmeth's thesis, that good stewardship is provided by humans, and that humans are vital to a healthy ecosystem and that "their presence must be elevated into the law."
Where I'm afraid we may part is in his interpretation of FLPMA and historical values. That appears in the Policy section, the last paragraph of which states, "The policies of this Act shall become effective only as specific statutory authority for their implementation is enacted by this Act or by subsequent legislation and shall then be construed as supplemental to and not in derogation of the purposes for which public lands are administered under other provisions of law."
Again, I'm in agreement with his primary point, I'm just not sure historical value as referred to in FLPMA is something we can hang our hat on. No doubt Mr. Wilmeth and I will have many more discussions about this.
I'm fascinated by his reference to sharecroppers. At first I thought no, sharecroppers give up half or more of their crop to the landlord and that's not how it works with grazing permits. But when I looked it up, there where actually three types of agreements signed by sharecroppers:
1. Workers can rent plots of land from the owner for a certain sum and keep the whole crop.
2. Workers work on the land and earn a fixed wage from the land owner but keep some of the crop.
3. No money changes hands but the worker and land owner each keep a share of the crop.
Number one sure could be a grazing permit.
What a powerful image that presents: ranchers as sharecroppers and the feds as the landlord.