November 24, 2012
The Western Watersheds Project is an organization determined to put people out of work any way they can. They want to wipe out all ranching on federal lands. This has nothing to do with conservation and everything to do with bullying innocent people out of their jobs, homes and heritage. In Arizona alone, federal lands ranching delivers a positive $3.2 billion economic impact. 98% of farms and ranches in the USA are family owned and operated. The things the WWP says about the ranchers are not valid and often inaccurate. The photographs they use in their propaganda are misrepresentative. For example they are currently posting photos on their website taken at the end of a severe drought and saying the vegetation is gone because of cattle. However, the most recent summer had good rains and all those bare places they photographed, which still have cattle on them, are carpeted in perennial grasses and green vegetation. The WWP would never publish photos of the same places after a good rain! There are dozens of peer-reviewed, journal published studies showing the environmental benefits of ranching but the Western Watersheds Project relies only on "science" that is biased by pretending ranching is managed today the same as it was in 1890-1925. All grazing on federal lands today is scientifically managed and all the "science" WWP relies on looks only at the effects of unmanaged grazing (vintage 1890 management) versus grazing exclusion. The WWP abuses the ESA to harm people, not to care for endangered species. For example they submitted a petition to the US Fish and Wildlife Service claiming that cattle grazing was a major threat to the Sonoran Desert Tortoise. Their "scientist" came up with that claim by manufacturing "threat scores" that had no basis whatever in actual measurements of anything whatsoever. They just imagined these numbers and then pumped them through computer models to impress people with no scientific background. They pump this garbage out on boilerplate petitions and force the government to deal with it or get sued. A local government organization that is responsible for watershed conservation called the Fish and Wildlife Service into coordination. They presented a study that had been conducted by collecting data over a 20- year time frame. That study showed there is absolutely no impact of managed cattle grazing on the Sonoran Desert Tortoise, so the US Fish and Wildlife Service accepted that and did not list cattle grazing in the U.S. as a threat to the species. The problem with groups like WWP is that hard working, honest families that depend on cattle grazing for their livelihoods must continually, and at great expense, prove their innocence from bombardment of scurrilous endangered species petitions, just to continue to put food on their table -and yours -while bully groups like WWP burden the rest of society to pay their taxes for them. I've clicked "life changing" below because WWP ruins innocent people's lives.
Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?
How much of an impact do you think this organization has?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
MY ROLE:General Member of the Public Review from Guidestar