Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Sage Grouse Cattle Wars - OHV Acceptable Collateral Damage?
Don Amador, BRC Western Rep.
A recent court decision in Idaho that found various cattle grazing allotments on BLM lands to be illegal because they may harm the Greater Sage-grouse reminded HQ again of similar claims made against the timber industry regarding potential harm to the Northern Spotted Owl (NSO) during the Timber Wars (circa 1992-2000) in the Pacific Northwest.
Idaho Statesman Article on Recent Court Decision
Wildlife News Blog on Court Decision
Western Watersheds Project – They are plaintiffs in the aforementioned lawsuit
HQ is concerned that OHV recreation (particularly permitted events such enduros, cross-country, club runs, even large family gatherings) will become collateral damage in the new “Cattle Wars” related to the Greater Sage-grouse.
In the Timber Wars, OHV was not the stated target of the green anti-timber organizations. However, OHV trail use and events on federal lands have either been banned or severely restricted based on NSO/ESA-related lawsuits or threats of lawsuits.
In Cattle Wars, HQ believes that OHV recreation will be viewed by federal officials and courts as “acceptable” collateral damage as the green conflict industry seeks to put cattle ranchers out of business.
HQ believes history is proving that non-timber factors such as the natural migration of the barred owl (a cousin of the spotted owl that both eats or cross-breads with the spotted owl, etc.) is to blame for the decrease in NSO populations vs. the need to put the timber industry “out-of-business” on federal lands.
Article on Shooting Barred Owls (because timber industry shutdown did not work)
With ranchers in 10 Western states now targeted for extinction by agenda driven extreme environmental groups, HQ believes that OHV recreation should be ready to construct an administrative and legal blast shield to protect us from political bombs dropped on the cattle industry.