Group seeks Pickens' help to save rangeland
Associated Press - November 28, 2008 8:55 PM ET
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Conservationists are looking to the wife of Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens to help push for federal reforms they say will help wild horses and save rangeland in the West.
Madeleine Pickens recently announced plans to create a massive refuge for wild horses.
WildEarth Guardians is interested in Pickens' plan and wants to take the idea a step further.
The group is advocating congressional legislation that would allow ranchers who have grazing permits on federal public land to relinquish the permits in exchange for compensation.
The idea is that livestock would be removed from the allotment, leaving a refuge for wild horses and other native animals and plants.
But the head of the New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association, Caren Cowan, says such a plan could have negative consequences for wildlife and the nation's food supply. Link
Once again grazing on public lands is being threatened. This has been the goal of several groups that claim cattle grazing on these lands are destructive to the environment. When cattle are managed properly, the grazing they do is actually beneficial for the grasses, the land and helps minimize fire risk. The other thing to remember is that we can’t continue taking land out of food production and expect that it won’t matter.