Government agencies have quietly distributed large subsidies that increased livestock grazing on public land in the Desert Southwest during the ongoing long-term megadrought.
The USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) should be targeted by budget hawks every time a Farm Bill comes up for renewal in Congress because the department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is doling out enormous amounts of EQIP subsidies to public land ranchers in the West.
The State of Arizona is managing its state land grazing leases primarily for the benefit of ranchers, not the state’s public schools – as federal law requires.
Arizona’s Gila District Office of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a draft resource management plan on June 29, 2018, that proposed to increase permitted cattle grazing in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA) by about 375%.
Several years ago I accompanied U.S. Forest Service staff on a horseback inspection of a livestock grazing allotment in the arid Superstition Mountains of the Tonto National Forest in central Arizona. As we neared a muddy stock tank perched on a chaparral-covered hill we scared off several mule deer that were taking a drink. The …