Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and the virtues that made America. The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life. –Theodore Roosevelt
America is at a crossroads with our Public Lands. We hear a lot recently from Welfare Rancher’s about their “rights being violated” and ironically, many of them do not accept our American style of government. Just as Ironic, Welfare Rancher’s use our Public Lands for grazing their cattle; and ironic again, these same Welfare Rancher’s receive or have received enormous amounts of subsidies from our taxpayer money (i.e. $ in the billions currently—see references from a 2005 GAO Report below).
But these same Welfare Rancher’s now “demand” our government to liquidate, Wild Horses from America’s Public lands — America’s Wild Horse Herds — America’s Heritage!
Their reasoning simple, at least to those unaware of the facts: to place more cattle onto Public Lands to graze – OUR Public Lands, Not Theirs!
This is important to keep in mind, as we can lose it under unscrupulous manipulations, lies, misinformation, and criminal methods. Because Welfare Rancher’s Lease under the guise of Permits our Public Land, does not and never will give them ownership and outright decision making capacity on that same land.
Decision making is left entirely to the American Public and handed down to those who are Stewarts of our land – in this case the BLM. An inter-change, between the true owner’s and a government agency managing our lands does not exist, though it should. We can take a look at BLM and their decision making process, which demonstrates why an inter-change of decision making should exist, for example:
One Roundup of 150 Wild Horses cost the taxpaying public $4.2 million dollars (over all assumptive costs via BLM documents)– wild horses shot and killed, or dead in traps, were still paid for by taxpayer money as well, $1,000 per horse, and placed into BLM inventory as live animals so payment could be received by government contractors –-
The BLM, in their wisdom, sold these same 150 Wild Horses to a slaughter plant in Canada for $6,140. . . Quite frankly, America cannot afford this type of incompetence! Combine that with the unnecessary reasoning for the roundup, and we start seeing consistency in incompetence, followed by a lot of questionable management situations with this government agency and Welfare Rancher’s alike. . .
The figure I will repeat occasionally through this article, their 2011 domestic sales receipts, only amounted to less than 1% of overall commercial beef sales. Yes, less than 1% of domestic sales, and this is due to several reasons – Yet you and I, as taxpayer’s paid these same rancher’s, $ Billons of dollars – and continue to do so under the guise of a BLM Land Grazing Program!
To put it appropriately, if we were to purchase their hamburger (i.e. Welfare Rancher’s only), when assumptive (2005-2012 available subsidy-by taxpayer figures via GAO) overall costs articulated properly, we pay, in reality, approximately $938.00 per pound for hamburger. Oh, it gets much worse. . .
Taxpayer’s and American’s Say “Enough is Enough”
Welfare Rancher’s, in truth, are simply taking advantage of antiquated government programs no longer financially feasible. There exists no reason for this type of government subsidy, or for the program to exist any longer. The programs established in 1928 and 1932 to assist in feeding America during the Depression Era. These programs antiquated decades ago, and are now a waste of taxpayer money!
Cattle Grazing Destroys Public Lands
Mismanaged by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), our Public Lands, in truth, are being destroyed by the ignorance of these same BLM employees and Welfare Rancher’s alike – this glaring truth referenced with good data gathering and facts; but often confused when combined with government misinformation and “special interest only” data gathering – The other awkward truth: it is in order to keep spending taxpayer money frivolously – yes, control by confusion.
There is an ironic truth here, believe it or not, in the Welfare Ranching Program, and what can only be explained as an ignorance that oddly has become a perspective; then combined with a narrow self-oriented need of a few. . . Many call this a recipe toward disaster and destruction of our Public Lands and eventually America; make no doubt of this situation.
Currently, we — the American Taxpayer’s — are not only subsidizing Welfare Ranching and receiving nothing for the money ( as stated before — 2011/2012/2013 sales receipts of beef from Public Land Grazing programs less than 1% of total commercial beef sales domestically), but now Welfare Rancher’s want to demand, ignorantly, by claiming their falsified information as litigable (BLM misinformation and outright lies).
Basically one can truthfully state, these Welfare Ranchers receive subsidies which pay for their planes, their swimming pools, their new trucks, their mansions, and pay their lobby groups very well, with Our money — Tax payer money: Oh, and let’s not neglect the fact they purchase more cattle to place on Our Public Lands (illegally and beyond their Grazing Permit ratios), and with Our tax money as subsidies — for their less than 1% domestic sales in America — No, they do not compete with commercial ranchers at all, i.e. to incompetent — And No, Americans receive no benefits what so ever other than our Public Lands being destroyed and America’s Wild Horses being Rounded Up Abusively, and many being killed.
Yes, they want to spent time in Federal Courts wasting more of America’s Taxpayer Dollars by demanding the liquidation of America’s Heritage, our Wild Horse Herds! These Welfare Rancher’s want taxpayers to cover the cost of everything they do, or can’t do, the take our Public Lands as well — Oh, at the cost of millions of dollars to taxpayers once again, labeled as subsidies!
Ironically, we unnecessarily, and unknowingly over a vast amount of time, paid them the money to accumulate and do so by subsidizing their, well, useless activity and ranching operations – all because they hold a grazing permit to lease Public Lands.
Oh Darn – The Real Fact of the Matter
Let’s look at the real facts from the Government Accountability Office, and about the Welfare Ranching Disease cluttering our Public Lands with unnecessary cattle (again, 2011 sales receipts less than 1% of total commercial beef sales domestically – their beef is simply not that good, nor will it ever be while grazing Public Lands, and all the while using GMO products to enhance the beef itself):
• The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported (in 2005) the federal government spends at least $144 million each year managing private livestock grazing on federal public lands, but collects only $21 million in grazing fees—for a net loss of at least $123 million per year (for 2005 – increased 18% per year).
• The GAO reported that ten federal departments and agencies operate grazing programs on federal public lands: Bureau of Land Management (BLM), USDA-Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Energy, Bureau of Reclamation, Army Corps of Engineers, the Army, Air Force, and Navy.
• The GAO admits its report is incomplete because several agencies, including the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, which spend millions of dollars mitigating for grazing damage such as non-point source water pollution, did not provide estimates of their grazing related costs to the GAO.
• Other programs that benefit both private and public lands ranchers, such as the “Livestock Compensation Program,” were also not included in the total subsidy to public lands ranchers.
• Considering the additional direct and indirect costs not included in the GAO report, economists have estimated that the federal public lands grazing on only BLM and Forest Service lands may cost as much as $500 million to $1 billion annually.
• The majority of BLM and Forest Service grazing fees are not deposited to the U.S. Treasury, but instead are diverted to the “Range Betterment Fund” to pay for fencing, water developments, and related infrastructure to support continued livestock grazing
• No report has ever fully analyzed the incredible environmental costs of livestock grazing on federal public lands.
Federal Grazing Permit Loans
While taxpayers pay millions of dollars to subsidize livestock grazing on public lands, federal grazing permittees and lessees are also allowed under dubious federal policy to collateralize their grazing permits/leases to finance their public lands grazing operations. Both the Forest Service4 and the BLM5 sanction the use of publicly owned federal grazing permits and leases as collateral for private bank loans (again 2005 figures — attritional rates increase within this situation nearly 28% yearly. . .).
• The BLM has documented more than $1.1 billion in liens on BLM grazing permits/leases in the eleven western states.
• Approximately 300 ranch operations have taken more than $450 million in loans on Forest Service grazing permits.
• In Supreme Court documents, the State Bank of Southern Utah confirmed that financial institutions hold an estimated $10 billion in loans and related credit transactions to the public land ranching industry, with the grazing privileges alone worth approximately $1billion.
Predator Control to Protect Livestock
Of the millions of dollars that taxpayers spend annually to subsidize public lands grazing, perhaps $5 – $8
million is dedicated to killing “predators” to protect livestock grazing on federal lands.9 Native wildlife killed to protect livestock include coyotes, bobcats, wolves, mountain lions, and bears.
• Number of predators Wildlife Services killed in sixteen western states (FY 2007): 71,196.
• Wildlife Services spent more than $61 million of federal funds to control wildlife in FY 2007; more than $18 million was spent to protect “agriculture” (including livestock) from animal damage; of that amount, $10,303,903 was spent in the eleven western states with the most federal public land and federal public lands grazing.
• Percent of Wildlife Services predator control budget spent to protect livestock on public lands: 75 percent.
• Percent of predator control budget paid by ranchers: 1 percent.
• Percent of cattle and calf losses attributed to predation (including dogs) (2005): 4.7 percent.
• Percent of cattle and calf losses attributed to digestive problems, respiratory difficulties, calving complications, weather and other causes (2005): 95.3 percent. (all bullet information: Fiscal Costs of Federal Public Lands Livestock Grazing, Wild Earth Guardians)
America and the Facts
After a review of the reality of Welfare Rancher’s grazing on America’s Public Lands, one can only shake their head in astonishment. How did things get to this point? How was such a program allowed to go on without some type of supervision or even adjustments and oversight?. Why was this program not discontinued decades ago, when it served its usefulness, then obviously become a “suck-hole” for taxpayer money?
Well, the answer to this is simple. Many legislators and large corporations are also involved in the Welfare Ranching industry. Some are paid vast amounts of money, ironically for grazing cattle on Public Lands, but have no cattle on their lands to graze; yet other’s, as aforementioned, simply sub-lease their Leased Public Land (i.e. illegal at best), often cheaper for a nearby commercial beef rancher to use than the standard commercial rates in any given area.
The fact is, programs such as this eventually worn out and useless, become a haven for criminal activity and criminal use. This is because of the tremendous amount of dollars given to the program, all taxpayer money and used by both private and government agencies, and with virtually no oversight or responsibility factors involved. . . In another words there is no one person or group of people answerable to this Welfare Ranching Program – it is a grab-all-you-can-and-run methodology, and has worked, pretty much criminal in nature — as school lunches are cut for kids, some do not eat dinner, due to government cut-backs – Disgusted enough to finally say something?
Many of these same rancher’s also collect subsidies and rental from water rights – Yes, as a Lessee they can become owners of all water-wells on the Public Land they lease – then rent or lease back to the government — yes-your taxpayer money at work!
In the past Welfare Rancher’s, in Oregon, attempted to blame the Wild Horse Herds in that location and within Federal Court, of Steelhead and Salmon stream-bed destruction – as odd as this sounds. The Federal Court situation cost taxpayer’s in excess of $24 million dollars, for the court to say what was quite obvious to most who observed the location, that it was the Stout’s cattle that caused the problem along the Murderer’s Creek stream-beds, and not the Wild Horses.
“The Stout’s (Welfare Rancher’s) bid to rid the Malheur Forest of mustangs was dealt a major setback when the National Marine Fisheries Services issued a Biological Opinion earlier this year, finding that, based on the best available scientific evidence, “wild horses are unlikely to cause measurable impacts to [the steelhead’s] tributary habitat within the action area” and impacts due to wild horses “are likely to be small and have minimal impacts on steelhead, [or] their habitat.”
“By contrast, in previous litigation, the Stout’s cattle were found to be directly impacting the steelhead. A federal court in Oregon ordered a reduction in grazing levels, a move that prompted the Stouts to file their own case to eliminate horses from the area.”
The Federal Court demanded a settlement, as further stated, one reason being the fact of questionable government information given to the Court as scientific information. This made the Judge in this matter not only skeptical, but demanded settlement.
Often it is interesting to know, and then acknowledge the details of a situation. It’s a fact the more an individual knows about such programs as Welfare Ranching and cattle grazing upon Public Lands, the more one understands the criminality and the unnecessary spending of taxpayer money for such programs.
As history shows as well, within this program, the criminality and ongoing frivolous government spending of subsidies to Welfare Rancher’s remains nothing more than a glut of money, with no return to the taxpayer what so ever. And that is an element of criminality within itself!