Browsing All Posts published on »February, 2012«

Golden Saddles

February 10, 2012

2

Grazing in the Intermountain West does more environmental damage than any other single activity. But ranchers have always had a choke hold on western legislators and most of the public land is grazed. One force that could overcome the ranchers grip is the market. Retirements of grazing permits (they are permits, not rights) are refered to sometimes as gold saddles. There is currently such a proposal by a legislator whose name is Adam Smith. An almost-too-perfect name for a guy coming up with an "invisible hand" market based solution. With such poetic grace on its side, the grazing retirement option may be getting a little closer. See Jodi Peterson's article in High Country News.

What uses most of the land and water without showing up in production?

February 6, 2012

0

70% of the land in Utah is public. And 70% of that land is handed out for grazing. Over 80% of the water used in Utah is for agriculture and most of that is to grow hay for livestock. That is a lot of land and water. Open this chart on the left of the State of Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert Economic Report's figures on employment by industry as a percent of total employment: Dec. 2011. Where's agriculture? The subsidized use of all that land and water isn't producing much, particularly jobs.

What does it cost to feed a gerbil for a month?

February 6, 2012

0

Probably more than $1.35. This is all that is charged to feed a cow AND its calf: Grazing fees on federal public lands to remain the same.