Don’t Be Deceived: Public-Lands Ranching Is Big Business

An article published Thursday by, a site hosted by the research and technology news service Science X, contains some interesting information about livestock grazing on public lands.

The piece discusses the conflict between wolves and ranchers and will give you a better understanding of why America’s wild horses have few if any natural predators, a charge leveled by the ranchers against the horses, whose cattle compete with the horses for food and water—on land set aside for the horses.  (Yes, Virginia, it is insane.)

The rancher involved with the controversy, which plays out in northeast Washington, said he has lost $1 million since 2008 because of the wolves (75 to 100 cattle a year).

Most horse owners can relate to that—they would not want to find one of their horse kids ripped to shreds by a pack of wolves.

But there is a difference.  The horse kids are on private land.  The cattle are on public lands, which are subject to ‘multiple use’ and ‘sustained yield,’ ideals that may be hard to achieve in the grazing world.  (See Paragraph 7, Section 102 of Title I in FLPMA.)

Why?  Because livestock yield goes down as the wolf population goes up.

You see, the thriving ecological balance is really not a balance.

Thriving Ecological Balance Rev 2

Using round numbers, the rancher has lost 100 head per year over a ten year period, with a value of $1 million.  That puts the unit value at $1,000 per head.

With cattle futures trading around $120 per hundred weight, the value may be closer to $1,500 per head.

Reveille Calcs-1

So when you see 2,144 cow/calf pairs grazing an allotment, you’re looking at a market value of at least $2.1 million, assuming that only the offspring are processed!

If the price is $1,500 per head, those animals will have a market value of $3.2 million.

These are not poor ranchers trying to eke out an existence on the high desert!

The cost to feed those 2,144 cow/calf pairs?  Just $35,000.

The article goes on to say that the rancher in Washington state paid paid $4,177 to graze 736 cow/calf pairs on 80,000 acres.  If that was in 2018, when the grazing fee was $1.42 per AUM, 2,944 AUMs would have been billed over a four month grazing season.

The value of the product would be somewhere between $736,000 and $1.1 million.

Now do you see why the ranchers want the horses off the range and why they supported the disastrous ‘Path Forward?’

For the record, most of the wild horses in Washington state were eradicated decades ago, although some can be found on tribal lands (such as Yakama and Colville).  A point of departure in this regard would be the Horse Heaven Hills.

The article ends with a remark about the Colville Forest, where 34 livestock operators grazed 10,000 cattle last summer.

The market value of those animals would have been between ten and fifteen million dollars, and the ranchers would have paid just $57,000 to feed them, assuming a four month grazing season.

What do you suppose their P&L statements look like?

RELATED: This Is Why Wild Horses Have No Natural Predators.

UPDATE: The grazing fee in 2018 was $1.41 per AUM, not $1.42.  The fee for 2019 is $1.35 per AUM, which may change on March 1 next year.

CBS Returns to Devil’s Garden

Four thousand was the number the Forest Service was throwing around last year before the roundup.  Then they removed one thousand horses.

A 20% growth rate would put the herd at 3,600 this year.

But when this year’s roundup was announced, there were 1,800 horses at the WHT, from which 500 were removed.

So how many are out there now?  Who knows.

Although the land was set aside for the horses, the government manages it primarily for livestock, privately owned, of course.

RELATED: Devil’s Garden Three-Strikers Up for Sale.

The Ad Hoc Impeachment

It’s not about about evidence, it’s not about witnesses and it’s not about due process.

It’s about the Supreme Court and what happens to the liberal agenda when the Six Million Dollar Justice passes on to her eternal reward.

You see, there are some things in this country, such as the fundamental transformation, that are too important to be left to the voters.


Just ask the residents of Laramie County.

RELATED: The Finest Health Care Money Can Buy.

Backers of ‘Path Forward’ Praise New Spending Bill

Refer to this story by The Washington Post, a publication known for its left-wing editorial bias and unabashed support of the liberal agenda.

The president and CEO of HSUS called the $21 million conditional authorization a “great start.”  The VP of government affairs for NCBA complained that the amount was less than he hoped for but said it was a “good start.”

How would the article be written if wild horse eradication and public-lands ranching were enterprises of the Right?

RELATED: President Signs Spending Bills.

PSA 12-21-19

Hammonds Lose Grazing Permit

Oregon’s most infamous public-lands ranchers have lost their grazing privileges, again, thanks to federal court ruling, according to a report posted today by Associated Press.

The ranchers were convicted of arson in 2012 for a fire they started on federal lands.

They claimed it was to stop the spread of invasive weeds but prosecutors said it was to destroy the remains of deer they killed illegally.

The resentencing of the Hammonds sparked the Malheur Incident in early 2016, which led to the death of a public-lands rancher from Arizona.

RELATED: Zinke Orders Reinstatement of Hammond Grazing Permit.

Floyd County Joins Growing List of WHB Shootings

The horses weren’t federally protected but they were killed just the same.  Here’s a recap of similar incidents on federal lands since the summer of 2018:

In these cases, each count carries a penalty of one year in prison and a fine of $2,000.

RELATED: Reward Grows in Floyd County Wild Horse Case.

UPDATE: The reward is now $15,000 according to a story by the Washington Post.

Wild Horse Crisis in Idaho?

You can’t have a conversation about wild horses without having a conversation about privately owned cattle and sheep, which the government refers to euphemistically as ‘other users’ of public lands (3:27 in this video).

The forage allocated to livestock on public lands in the western U.S. would support at least 750,000 wild horses, enough to empty all of the ‘warehouses’ fifteen times over.

On the Challis HMA, recently gathered, the management plan assigns 80% of the forage to domestic livestock.

At Saylor Creek, soon to be gathered, the ranchers receive 95% of the forage!

The WHB Act, which appears at 3:15, has been amended several times at the behest of the ranchers and no longer affords the protections sought by Velma.

The roundups, corrals, contraceptive darting, sanctuaries, preserves, adoption events and training programs seen in the video reflect that reality.

There is no wild horse crisis on western rangelands, only the deceit and greed of the public-lands ranchers and their allies in government.

It’s one of the best examples of crony capitalism you could ever hope to investigate.

RELATED: IRRC Expands Propaganda, There Is No Wild Horse Crisis.

There Is No Wild Horse Crisis

The folks at PERC published a commentary earlier this week claiming responsibility for the $1,000 adoption incentive, describing it as a market-based solution that gets horses out of holding facilities and into real homes.

Why are they in holding facilities?  Because they compete for water and forage with other wildlife.

Yep, wildlife.  Privately owned cattle and sheep were omitted from the story.

So are they guilty of sloppy research or are they shills for the public-lands ranchers?

Why haven’t they proposed market-based solutions to the ranching problem?

RELATED: Horse Rich, Dirt Poor, Overpopulation Explained.

Darn Lobbyists!

Almost certainly the brave and loyal Democrats who control the House were able to resist the lobbying pressures of the ranching cabal, but were overwhelmed by the underhanded tactics of oil, mining and timber companies.

That’s why HR 1865 contains $21 million for an aggressive population reduction strategy for America’s wild horses and burros.  Control comes later.

Now the bill moves to the Senate, also dominated by liberals, and on to the President, who can only accept it or reject it.  No line-item veto.

PSA 12-12-19

House Approves FY 2020 Spending Package

The non-defense appropriations bill, HR 1865, carried by a vote of 297 to 120, according to a report in Yahoo Finance, presumably with $21 million allocated to “an aggressive, non-lethal population control strategy” for America’s wild horses and burros.

The legislation will be put to a vote in the Senate tomorrow.

RELATED: House to Consider FY 2020 Appropriations Bill Today.