Government agencies have quietly distributed large subsidies that increased livestock grazing on public land in the Desert Southwest during the ongoing long-term megadrought.
Every time a Farm Bill comes up for renewal in Congress the budget hawks searching for wasteful government spending should take a close look at the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds being awarded to public lands ranchers in the West by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
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 …