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And they really are serious.
The “RangeNet 2000 Declaration”...
Wherein environmental activists wage another war on western resource users. First it was timber, now it’s grazing.
Who’s next?

© CJ Hadley “...domestic livestock grazing is the single most pervasive and damaging activity on western public lands.”

RangeNet 2000 Declaration
Buckaroo looks for cattle on public lands in Northern Nevada. Catle have grazed here for more than 76 years. Lightning in the early ’90s burned brush and left abundant native grass.
© C.J. Hadley

Whereas, the new century offers us the opportunity to rectify the mistakes of the last, to recover what has been lost, and to restore what has been damaged;

WHEREAS, the American public prizes its wild, diverse and vast public lands as a common treasure;

WHEREAS, for decades, awareness of the complexity, vulnerability and ongoing loss of wild ecosystems on our continent has been growing;

WHEREAS, there is also increasing recognition of the power of natural systems to recover much of their original diversity and vigor when destructive activities cease;

WHEREAS, virtually all western public lands are grazed by domestic livestock;

WHEREAS, domestic livestock grazing is the single most pervasive and damaging activity on western public lands;

WHEREAS, domestic livestock grazing on public lands (hereinafter referred to as public lands grazing) has severely damaged western seeps, springs, creeks, rivers and lakes, the organisms in them and the vegetation around them;

WHEREAS, public lands grazing has caused massive losses of western soils;

WHEREAS, public lands grazing promotes the replacement of native plants by invasive exotics and noxious weeds;

WHEREAS, public lands grazing is the single greatest contributor to the loss of biodiversity and the imperilment of threatened and endangered species in the West;

WHEREAS, domestic livestock on public lands directly compete with wildlife, which is of far greater ecological, aesthetic and economic value than domestic livestock;

WHEREAS, public lands grazing involves the killing, at taxpayer expense, of large numbers of wild animals every year, such as prairie dogs, coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, bears and bison, disrupting ecologically crucial predator/prey relations;

WHEREAS, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service too often mismanage public lands to serve the livestock industry;

WHEREAS, there are more and more examples of the recovery of natural systems on lands where domestic livestock have been removed;

WHEREAS, the continuance of public lands grazing requires massive subsidies from American taxpayers, who thereby finance the degradation or destruction of their own public lands;

WHEREAS, public lands grazing contributes very little to the American economy or food supply, but involves heavy ecological costs;

WHEREAS, the existence of the public lands grazing industry delays the necessary transition to a healthy, sustainable economy in the American West;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, the participants in the RangeNet 2000 Symposium, call for a prompt end to public lands grazing.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we view the cessation of public lands grazing as an essential first step in the restoration and re-wilding of our magnificent heritage of western public lands.

To implement this declaration, we agree to:
(a) launch a national campaign to end public lands grazing;
(b) form an organization to coordinate this campaign;
(c) organize a follow-up 2001 grazing conference to further the campaign;
(d) support our member groups in their separate efforts to end public lands grazing.

Adopted this 29th day of November 2000 in Reno, Nevada.


© Tim Findley
National Wildlife Federation lawyer Tom Lustig dresses in judge’s robes to make a point. With him are, from left: Martin Taylor, Center for Biological Diversity; Stephanie Parent, Oregon Natural Desert Assn.; Bill Eddie, Land & Water Fund of the Rockies; John Horning, Forest Guardians; and Jon Marvel, Idaho Watersheds Project.

Related story links:

Response to RangeNet...by Ed Depaoli

Battle Cry (RangeNet 2000 invades Nevada)...by Tim Findley

Exploiting Controversy, Q&A with Andy Kerr

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