Photo Credit: Michael CB Stevens
Retire grazing permits – keep livestock off public lands
Grazing Permit Retirement
The vast majority of public lands in the American West are permitted for commercial cattle grazing (over 90% of public lands). Cattle grazing is environmentally destructive, and the impacts are exacerbated by climate change. From water pollution to denuded streambanks, invasive plants to native species’ extinction and hostility toward native carnivores by the livestock industry, cattle grazing has dramatically altered the ecology of the American West.
Across the West, permit retirement has been used to resolve conflicts between livestock grazing and wolves, grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, other endangered species, water shortages, and environmental degradation. It is a proven strategy to equitably resolve conflicts between historic uses and modern ecological realities. Permit retirement is economically rational, fiscally prudent, socially just, politically pragmatic and ecologically necessary.
In the Greater Gila Bioregion, Guardians is using this proven conservation strategy to resolve conflicts with Mexican wolves and address water shortages and habitat degradation. Permit retirement makes perfect sense in the Gila. But without legislation authorizing permanent permit retirement, each retirement takes considerable time and lasts only 10 years before the Forest Service can re-issue the permit to someone new, once again threatening the tens of thousands of acres that have been healing and providing safety for Mexican wolves and the numerous other species that call the Gila home.
A legislatively authorized permit retirement delivers the much-needed guarantee to permanently close allotments to livestock grazing. It is the best way to bring environmental protection to the Greater Gila and provides the most attractive investment opportunity. We have a two million dollar pledge tied to securing the passage of legislation. That sum alone would allow us to execute an additional five to seven retirements. Conversely, we have several investors who have demonstrated trepidation in investing in retirements absent legislation. Guardians is working hard at the local, regional, and national (congressional) level to get grazing retirement legislation passed in 2019.
Support Grazing Permit Retirement
We cannot secure a future for public lands and the rural west without your help. For just $10, you can ensure the retirement of one acre of public lands from livestock grazing and every dollar of your donation will go to retiring grazing permits.
What We’ve Done – More Than 28,000 Acres Protected!
How You Can Help
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Recent Stories From Public Lands
New Flathead Forest Plan favors resource extraction over protection and restoration of habitat for grizzly bears, Canada lynx, wolverine, and bull trout
Keeping livestock off public lands has many benefits, but existing law doesn’t allow for permanent livestock grazing permit retirement
Public Lands Press
The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, further bolstered by the Multiple Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, authorized cattlemen and sheep growers to use public land across the West to grow their personal businesses. Now the same law has enabled corporate cattleman to profit from some of America’s most picturesque forests, grasslands, and deserts.Read more >
A state board this week upheld an order barring further road-building or other surface-disturbing activities by the West Elk Mine in the Sunset Roadless Area of the Gunnison National Forest in the upper North Fork Valley.Read more >