Good stewardship

… The U.S. government clears forests; plants grass; builds roads, cattle guards, and fences; diverts streams; blows up beaver dams; “improves” habitats; monitors the health of livestock; excises predators, including 80,000 coyotes; and poisons, traps, or shoots more than 30,000 prairie dogs and beavers—both keystone species—each year.

The result of this federal largesse, and the enclosure and monoculture it accommodates, is that ranching has become the primary cause of species extinction, topsoil loss, deforestation, and desertification in the American West, courtesy of too many cattle on land too dry and fragile for their needs.  Everywhere cattle go you find streams, watersheds, rare grasses, and shrubs mucked or stomped or gorged out of existence; exotic seeds carried on the animals’ hooves; and soil eroded beyond repair.  In 1991, the United Nations reported that 85 percent of western rangeland was being degraded by overgrazing, and a 1998 study in the Journal of Arid Environments found that livestock grazing on public land near the White Sands Missile Range was more damaging to the long-term health of flora than multiple nuclear bomb blasts.

They shoot buffalo, don’t they: Hazing America’s last wild herd, By Christopher Ketcham, Harpers, June 2008, pg. 73-74

It make you proud to be an American; not.