Letter to the Editor
There is absolutely no scientific basis for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to not allow grazing of burned acres for two years. In Elko County, I challenged the BLM policy on a burn we experienced and they allowed grazing the first year after seed ripe. The cows tramped the new seed in the ground, creating an even better stand the second year. In fact, the reseeding was so successful, the same county burned again.
If the government is successful in placating the non-grazing environmentalists such as Jon Marvel of the Western Watershed Project, the ranchers should take the initiative and sue their government as the environmentalists have. The environmentalists have made a business of suing the government to collect attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act. Science says grazing enhances biodiversity. Mr. Marvel must feel all warm and fuzzy when he drives the 42 miles on US95 through the 580,000 acres burned in Oregon. He should be proud. Perhaps he can use the $20 million he extorted from the pipeline company to enhance the sage grouse habitat in the burns for which he is partly responsible. How much seed will $20 million buy?
Science should dictate grassing policy, not No Grazing advocates.
Julian C. Smith, Jr. Lawyer and Rancher, Carson City, NV