Browsing All Posts filed under »Environmental Economics«

The Elephant in the Room is a Cow — Grazing Impacts on So. Utah Forests

September 23, 2014

0

My wife and I are both sixth generation Utahns. We own homes in both Salt Lake and Wayne counties. We were married in the Capitol Reef National Park outdoor amphitheater in 2010. Together we cherish the natural landscape of Utah, our pretty, great state. Except for one thing. We have become sensitized to the damage […]

***zon: Smooth Brome Grass of Your Local Economy

May 29, 2014

0

Originally posted on Committed to the Quest:
Have you seen your favorite nonprofits urging you to join ***zon Smiles: You Shop ***zon GIves program? Sign up, and your favorite public radio station, environmental organization, homeless shelter, you-name-it will receive a percentage of every purchase you make at ***zon, at no additional cost to you. Seems…

Sage Grouse ESA Listing?

March 18, 2014

2

Check us out, girls. Last Friday morning a half a dozen cars full of environmentalists, mostly, are parked on the side of a rural road waiting for dawn. It is surprising cold, a bit below 20 degrees, and most of us are a bit under-dressed. As suggested, we stayed in the cars, and again as suggested by the folks parked next to us, quieted down. As the first morning twilight came on we could begin to see and hear the sage grouse males, big as turkeys, some now even out in the road, doing their spring mating ritual thing. Fantastic. [continue]

Cowpie National Monument

May 31, 2013

3

Grand Staircase Escalanate National Monument, Burr Trail (GSENM), May 20, 2013  It doesn’t make sense to subsidize environmental degradation on public lands.  Kirsten and I went out for a couple of nights camping to the Deer Creek campground off the Burr Trail in the GSENM.  After a hike down Deer Creek for less than a […]

Exclosures – August 2012

August 19, 2012

1

Kirsten and I went up to the Fish Lake National Forest and camped on Thousand Lake Mountain in southern Utah for a couple of nights this last Thursday through Saturday August 16-18.  This area is just north of Torrey and we like to get up there in the summer just to get out and to […]

Don’t photograph that cow!

March 3, 2012

2

I've been reading quite a bit about the history and current practice of grazing on public lands. My question has always been how so few people could have such huge political clout. The answer is complex and fascinating. Much of the answer revolves around the power of the cowboy myth in the mind of the American and particularly in the mind of the American congressperson. I think I will blog a bit about some current examples of both regulatory and political capture and about the harm that public land grazing does. Here's a current example of where the reactionary Utah congress is working on a law to make it illegal to take a picture of a cow. >>>more

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.

Ed Firmage lets the good old boys have it.

January 22, 2012

0

Welfare Rancher?

In response to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune announcing that Utah State Engineer Kent Jones OK’d the use of Green River water to cool a proposed nuclear reactor, Ed Firmage Jr. posted a polished reply. Click title to see more.

Failure of Land Use Socialism

January 4, 2012

0

There is nothing more harmful to the arid lands of the American West today than public land grazing. It is ironic that the Cato Institute, the leading libertarian, conservative think tank calls the results of over a century of grazing on public lands, " . . . a testimony to the failure of land-use socialism." Ouch. 70% of the over 300 million acres of public land in the West is grazed, producing less than 3% of the nation's beef. Agriculture is less than 1% of the western economies but uses nearly 80% of the water, much of that used to grow hay for to feed livestock. Ranching is a tiny little special interest. A rancher pays $1.35 per month to graze a cow and its calf. How much do you suppose it costs to feed a gerbil for a month? Yet the BLM, with $40 million of taxpayer stimulus money, wants to ignore the impact of grazing in their Rapid Ecoregional Assessments project to map ecological trends throughout the West. See more here . . . >>

American Drinking Water Gets a D-. Republicans want it to get an F.

December 9, 2011

1

"Bipartisan analyses have repeatedly shown that the cost of environmental regulation is exponentially cheaper than the costs of toxic cleanup and medical care." And yet the fearful shriek that environmental regulation "kills jobs" while the hamstrung EPA can't even adequately test or develop standards for two-thirds of the pollutants detected in water. Enough already. . . . more>>

Regulators Taken Hostage by Cows

November 30, 2011

0

Mary O'Brien of the Grand Canyon Trust says it is like doing a study on obesity and not considering what people eat. The BLM is spending $40 million of taxpayer stimulus funds to do a "ecoregional assessment study" but ruling out ahead of time the impact of grazing. The regulators are afraid of upsetting the regulated. Regulatory capture at it's worst. Are we Alice at the Mad Hatter's table? Here's Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman with more.