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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

AN IMPORTANT "CALL-TO ACTION" TO STOP UTAH SENATOR ORRIN HATCH'S ILL-CONCEIVED BILL TO PREVENT ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS FROM RETIRING CATTLE GRAZING PERMITS IN THE GRAND STAIRCASE, ESCALANTE, NEW MEXICO...........If this bill passes, Grazing Buyouts across the West will be in jeopardy of no longer being a most optimum way of restoring the land to its biological health

From: George Wuerthner <>
Date: May 12, 2015 at 2:52:05 PM EDT

Hi all

Just got this note from Bill Hedden at Grand Canyon Trust. Senator Orrin Hatch is trying negate buyouts and retirements of grazing privileges done at Grand Staircase Escalante NM. If this passes, it will make it virtually impossible to retire other grazing privileges around the West. Please write or call your Senators and ask them to oppose S. 365  with the Orwellian title A bill to improve rangeland conditions and restore grazing levels within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. It is critically important if your Senator is on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee--list of  committee members here.

Please post to your friends and membership. Buyouts of grazing permits have already reduced grazing conflicts in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, at Cascade Siskiyou NM and Badlands Wilderness in Oregon, at Great Basin NP in Nevada, in the Missouri Breaks NM in Montana, is proposed for the Boulder White Cloud proposed wilderness in Idaho and many other places. This is a critical tool we need to keep. Grazing retirement  has helped wolves, grizzlies, bighorn sheep, sage grouse, and various fish. Not to mention important habitat like riparian zones and the like.

Your last remark about the importance of grazing buyouts prompts me to send you this note. I hope you will forward a copy of this to your list. Next week (5/21) there will be a hearing in the Public Lands Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Orrin Hatch's bill S. 365 which will have the effect of legislatively negating the grazing buyouts and retirements done in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

A copy of the bill is below. These buyouts were not in sage grouse habitat, but they involved willing seller ranchers in the country's flagship national monument. The RMP was amended in  1999 to close the Escalante River and many side canyons to  grazing. Now, for no reason beyond pure spite from a few locals, Senator  Hatch is trying to intervene to reopen all of these areas grazing. It will be a travesty ecologically and also  will have a chilling effect on grazing buyout work across the West. Please ask  people  to  contact their members of  the Senate Committee and ask them to stop S. 365.

Bill Hedden

[114th] S.365
Latest Title: A bill to improve rangeland conditions and restore grazing levels within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah.
Sponsor: Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [R-UT] (introduced 2/4/2015)       Cosponsors: 1
Latest Major Action: 2/4/2015 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

1st Session

S. 365
To improve rangeland conditions and restore grazing levels within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah.

February 4, 2015

Mr. HATCH (for himself and Mr. LEE) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

To improve rangeland conditions and restore grazing levels within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
   (a) In General- As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall implement a management program within areas of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that are administered by the Bureau of Land Management--
      (1) to improve rangeland conditions for wildlife and livestock carrying capacity in those areas; and
      (2) to restore livestock grazing to the level of usage in those areas that existed as of September 17, 1996.
   (b) Permits- In issuing or renewing grazing permits and in issuing or modifying allotment management plans for livestock grazing in the areas described in subsection (a), the Secretary of the Interior shall incorporate reasonable standards and guidelines that are consistent with--
      (1) the "Utah Standards for Rangeland Health and Guidelines for Grazing Management for BLM Lands in Utah", approved by the Secretary of the Interior on May 20, 1997; and
      (2) the applicable regulations of the Bureau of Land Management contained in subpart 4100 of title 43, Code of Federal Regulations (relating to livestock grazing on public land) (or successor regulations).

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