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KayDee Gilkey Livestock Grazing Provides Effective Tool to Prevent Wildfires
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: May 12, 2017

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The Public Lands Council along with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association have begun a campaign to highlight how grazing livestock on public lands can help mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfires — especially with the wet winter we just experience will mean much grass as potential fuel.

Public Lands Council Executive Director Ethan Lane says there is a lack of flexibility within federal agencies to allow more grazing in these conditions.

Lane: “We know that some BLM offices are asking for additional AUMs now. They need those additional cattle on the ground and those additional sheep on the ground to reduce those fuel loads. There is simply no other way to get a handle on this threat particularly in a wet year like we’ve seen this year. The larger problem is that flexibility is just simply not easy to come by. The way our laws are set up and the litigious nature we are in now where these outside activist groups that look for any reason to lob a lawsuit at the BLM or the Forest Service. It is a hazardous environment for these land managers to make what is obviously the responsible decision. If you go to a private land environment with the same problem — this is an easy fix. You use more livestock to reduce those fuel loads in a responsible way and you pull them off when that threat has been avoided. What you are rewarded with on the backside of that is rebound in those perennial grasses and a healthy ecosystem going into the next year. We know that. The science is piled up on that and we know exactly what happens when we do that kind of management.”

You can learn more at the new website grazingpreventswildfires.com

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