Welfare Ranching: Subsidized Destruction of the American West

I’m definitely going to eat less beef in future. Cows are TERRIBLE for the environment.

Ranchers on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) property have 94 percent of their grazing costs covered by taxpayers. …

Ranchers leasing BLM land cost taxpayers an estimated $500 million a year (and probably much more—some say a billion dollars).

According to Stephen Nash’s Grand Canyon for Sale, about 15,000 ranchers receive a $33,000 from the federal government annually.

This windfall of this bill comes in the form of radically reduced leasing fees (that some ranchers, such as Cliven Bundy, refuse to pay altogether). The cost of grazing cattle on privately owned land in the West is $21.60. BLM ranchers pay $1.41 per animal unit month (AUM), the amount of monthly forage eaten by a cow and her calf. In essence, ranchers on BLM land have 94 percent of their grazing costs covered by taxpayers. …

These subsidies apply to only 2.7 percent of livestock producers in the United States. Six percent of beneficiaries get 66 percent of the proceeds. So, rather than these subsidies leading to cheaper meat (which might, depending on one’s economic philosophy, justify them), the program tends to benefit corporate ranchers with names such as Koch, Walmart, and Hilton. …

HOW WELFARE RANCHERS TAKE TAXPAYERS FOR A RIDE

https://www.amazon.com/Welfare-Ranching-Subsidized-Destruction-American/dp/1559639423

Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West tells the story of a vast region, sparsely populated by people but tragically battered by an activity many of us have mistakenly believed is benign.

In fact, the production of livestock is incompatible with the ecological health of much of the lands in the West.

Aridity is chief among the factors limiting compatible uses of western landscapes. Over decades, the placement of exotic, water-hogging, ill-adapted livestock on western lands has changed diverse native plant communities …

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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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