There may be no greater peacekeeper in the West than state water law. Everyone who inhabits this arid quarter needs water—from farmers and ranchers to municipalities. These individuals and entities ferociously defend their state-allocated water rights, many of which date back to the 1800s, when the West was settled.
Federal agencies, California, Oregon, and a corporation owned by Warren Buffet bucked local opposition last Wednesday when they signed two agreements aimed at removing four major dams along the Klamath River. According to local opponents, the finalization of the agreements was premature and excluded input from the public and affected stakeholders.
On March 11, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) quietly unveiled a policy that will require “effective separation” of domestic sheep and goats from wild sheep across the West. The new guidance is similar to a U.S. Forest Service policy that is currently under litigation by the sheep industry.
The citizens and county representatives who commented at the meeting criticized not just the draft plan, but the process in which it is being developed. Several supposedly secret meetings have already been held regarding the plan, according to a staffer for U.S.
Was the government justified in its actions on Jan. 26, the day rancher LaVoy Finicum was shot and killed along a remote stretch of eastern Oregon’s Highway 395? A video of the event, recorded on a witness’ mobile phone, was released by investigators last Tuesday.
The federal Department of the Interior seems motivated to get on with the largest dam removal in U.S. history. For years, likely due to local opposition in southern Oregon and northern California, Congress has refused to support the removal of four hydroelectric dams along the Klamath River.
Two recent legal decisions have brought the sheep industry from cheers to disappointment. Both were legal challenges brought by industry against the U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service) because of the agency’s removals (or proposed removals) of domestic sheep in the name of bighorn sheep protection.
“I am requesting that the four remaining protesters go home now so their lives are not taken. This will allow the FBI and [Oregon State Police] to also go home and end their armed occupation of Burns and Harney County…” These are the words of Ammon...
Public Lands Council (PLC) recently welcomed aboard a new executive director in Washington, D.C. In November, Ethan Lane, a fifth-generation Arizonan, took on the task of shepherding the organization through its lobbying efforts on behalf of ranchers with federal land grazing rights.
A remote corner of eastern Oregon has made global headlines this week. Harney County ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond went back to prison last Monday— but that’s not likely what caught the imagination of reporters worldwide. Armed protesters professing support for the Hammonds overtook a federal building on Saturday, Jan.
Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond are going back to prison for two range fires they started years ago on their private land that spread onto federal land. Between the two of them, this father and son have already served one year, three months and a day in prison for the fires.
The livestock industry is losing a valuable team member in Washington, DC, according to ranchers WLJ talked to across the West. Public Lands Council’s (PLC’s) Executive Director Dustin Van Liew is moving on after six years in the position. He will be moving to Texas to work for an oil and gas trade association.
“All three” seems to have been the reply from industry leaders, who met last week in Cody, WY. At this year’s annual Public Lands Council (PLC) meeting, the PLC Board of Directors granted a sum of over $450,000 to projects designed to protect, promote and enhance the public land grazing industry.
Death by fire is threatening a growing number of livestock operations in the Northwest. As of Sept. 2, almost 2 million acres of active, large fires raged—mostly in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon. Many of the infernos are less than 50 percent contained, according to the National Inter-agency Fire Center.
Change is in the air on the range—change that could benefit the public land grazing industry. Last winter, Congress directed the BLM and U.S. Forest Service to improve their grazing policies to help stabilize the federal permitting process.