Dec 30, 2008
by WLJ

Public land grazing in jeopardy

Hello, I want to notify you that cattle grazing on public land is in jeopardy like never before. In Oregon, the BLM is conducting a public comment period on the John Day Basin Resource Management Plan. Comments are due by Jan. 29, 2009. One of the main issues is that the BLM wants to close public land to OHVs and ATVs. They also want to designate all roads and trails instead of allowing use of existing roads and trails.

Hunters, fisherman, recreationists, disabled and elderly folks, off highway groups, snowmobile folks, 4X4 clubs and many others are outraged. These folks have notified the BLM that if these restrictions are adopted during this planning process, then all of these organizations intend to join with environmental organizations all over the United States to ban cattle grazing on all public lands for many logical reasons.

The folks listed above have shared public lands with cattle for generations, but they feel that if people’s rights are restricted and liberties are taken away from people, then the cattle should not be allowed to utilize the public lands either.

The environmental organizations have been trying to rid public lands of cattle for decades, but they have lacked the manpower and public support to make this happen until now. If the BLM closes the land to OHVs and ATVs, or limits travel routes to designated roads and trails, all forces will join in opposition of cattle grazing on public lands. Their stand is: No roads, no OHVs, no cattle.

If this happens, you will see a movement like never before and they will be successful. The environmental organizations have been successful working alone, but lack the amount of people that will [be] joining them on this issue.

The Cattlemen’s Association and Farm Bureaus need to submit public comments to BLM supporting Alternative 1—No Action/ No Change.

These folks should tell BLM that they support leaving public lands open to OHVs and ATVs and all others. They should also support leaving all existing roads and trails open for motorized use. These folks do not want to be forced onto designated roads and trails, nor do they want any public land closed to OHVs or ATVs. Let’s stop the friction and animosity that the government is creating right now and right here. Jessika Gentile North Plains, OR