Exposing the boondoggle of public lands ranching
As the Western Watersheds Project’s Biodiversity Director, biologist Katie Fite has monitored more public ground than arguably any other single person in the Western United States. Her work has repeatedly set her against the anti-environmental bureaucrats at the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.
She is currently Director of Public Lands at Wildlands Defense, an Idaho-based organization that is dedicated to protecting and improving the ecological and aesthetic qualities of the wildlands and wildlife communities of the western United States for present and future generations. Wildlands Defense engages in legal and administrative advocacy, scientific research, and wildland and wildlife monitoring, and also by supporting and empowering active public engagement.
Katie and I talked on March 9th, 2020, and took a deep dive into what is known as “welfare ranching.” What’s that? Well, the sepia-toned myth of the self-reliant cowboy is just that–a myth. In reality, the cattle industry of the western US receives big subsidies from the federal and state governments, at taxpayer expense. The big losers in this scam are native wildlife and natural ecosystems. It’s a tragedy that’s been unfolding for centuries and that has only gotten worse in recent years. It’s well past time to remove all cows and sheep from public lands, full stop.
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