This Is Important
Published: 07 December 2013
I’m writing this column wearing a couple of different hats on – one, of course, as the publisher of the Roundup and the other as the Wyoming Director of the National Public Lands Coalition.
As most of you know the National Public Lands Coalition is made up of members from the western states with public lands, and in Wyoming, there are representatives from Wyoming State Grazing Board, Wyoming Wool Growers and Wyoming Stock Growers. These members and I, along with other Wyoming public lands ranchers, represent Wyoming at the two annual meetings each year, one in Washington, D.C. and the other somewhere in the West. The National Public Lands Council not only deals with producers with BLM Section Three permits and permits with the Forest Service, but also with BLM Section 15 permits in the eastern half of the state and for those who graze on the National Grasslands.
You can imagine the long list of regulatory and legal issues that have to be dealt with daily. The National Public Lands Coalition has two staff members in Washington, D.C. The executive director of the organization is Dustin van Liew, who had a Guest Opinion in last week’s Roundup.
All of you with public lands permits should have received a letter from the Public Land Council in the last week asking for a voluntary assessment of $50 plus 25 cents per head of livestock. The goal of the Wyoming Public Lands Coalition is to raise around $45,000 for its expenses and obligations to the National Public Lands office.
There are around 2,500 public lands producers in the state. If everyone gave $20, we would be covered, but that never has been the case. So please give what you can – $100, $200 or even $500. Any amount is good for the value you receive back from the council.
“Yours in the removal of livestock from public lands,” is how the new director of the Western Watersheds signed off in his message of introduction to members of the Western Watersheds on their website.
We all know the threat is real, and we just can’t stand back and watch it happen. The happenings coming from the current administration and some in Congress to curb public lands grazing is happening every day. Our Congressional delegation and others on our side need help lobbying and keeping our cause out there. The other side is spending dollars, so we have to, too. We as public land grazers are being picked apart piece by piece, bit by bit, and we seem to lose two cases, while only maybe winning one. By not helping with some dollars, we are cheating ourselves, our neighbors and our families for the future in public lands grazing as we depend on these public lands. The BLM and Forest Service seems to always be changing regulations, and they need watched in Washington, D.C. The White House is running the show, so one never knows what to expect on the national scene.
If you need an assessment card, please get a hold of me. We, and public lands grazers, will appreciate your donation.