Thursday, December 1, 2005

Retirement of Grazing Rights

There is an interesting story in the New York Times (registration required) today about the resistance of some local officials to the voluntary retirement of grazing rights on federal lands.  An excerpt:

[S]even years ago an environmental group based in Arizona, the Grand Canyon Trust, began paying ranchers to give up their grazing rights when their herds, or bank accounts, had failed to thrive. By this fall, the trust had spent more than $1 million to end grazing on more than 400,000 acres.

The deals seemed to suit all concerned, until a group of local officials decided that they were bad for the local economy and a threat to the ancestral tradition of living off the land. The group set out to end this latest, uncharacteristically civil chapter in the fraught history of cattlemen, environmentalists and dueling visions of the West's future.

Ben Barros

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