Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Govt hampers management

In the US on the Nevada/Idaho border, Ron Cerri and his family run about 500 Angus and Hereford breeders on their property Rebel Creek Ranch in a region known as the Great Basin. Mr Cerri said drought had been a real issue for the past three years, exacerbated by wild fires on the public lands. "In 2012 we had some very bad fires that took out something like a million acres (400,000ha) of pasture," Mr Cerri said. "Then we entered this drought cycle with far less pasture than we would have expected." Federal public lands represent about 87 per cent of Nevada's cattle country. The state runs about 420,000 cattle. Mr Cerri is also chairman of the Nevada Cattleman's Association's federal public lands committee that represents the state's 663 ranchers who have title over public land. He said the fires had been made worse by a tall, fast growing, invasive weed called cheat grass. "We need the government to understand that grazing this land will help control these wild fires," he said. "Keeping cattle off public lands may attract votes in the eastern states, but it is not the best way to manage these lands for either the federal government or the ranchers who rely on this pasture for their cattle." Under a new classification system developed by the US Department of Agriculture, the current drought in Nevada has been deemed a category D2. It means that ranchers must reduce the grazing pressure on public lands by 60pc. Those who fail to comply will be banned from grazing on that country for two years, or for 12 months after the drought breaks...more

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