[Cdt-l] Fwd: : wild horse roundup

Bob bobandshell97 at verizon.net
Thu Dec 30 10:43:37 CST 2010


One thing my wife and I really enjoyed while hiking the CDT, especially in
NM, was purposely seeking out conversation with local ranchers.  Being
Easteners, we started out with the usual environmental "righteous think" of
various  preservationist organizations. it seemed so logical.   Who could
argue or think otherwise?   It didn't take but a few conversations with
sincere, gracious landowners out west, even with the Chief Ranger of the
Gila NF, to clue us in quickly that there was a whole different and valid
way to experience and view things in NM.  We started out with a black/white
way of thinking and very quickly saw the many gray issues, with valid points
on both sides.   


Ed says, " No modern  rancher would ever overgraze.In a drought, the feed
value of the feed goes down and the cattle lose condition, we always sell
off our herd during dry years."   In 1996, a bad drought year, as we came up
the road from Antelope Wells, truck after truck of cattle passed us, going
to market.  From my journal:  "William Hurt and his wife stopped and talked
a while.  He's the major landowner here. Among other things, he talked about
the incredible drought here - the worst in 23 years. Things have dried up so
badly the cattle have no forage and are being trucked out as fast as
possible. First it was for 17 cents a lb, now it's down to 14 cents."    


My wish for new CDTers is that they approach with a smile, ask questions,
really listen, and learn to appreciate the different ways of thinking out
west.  Ah, I envy those getting ready to start out this year.  Make it a fun


Ed, you say, "You have a biased attitude toward cattle."  Uh, the only bias
I have is that every time I wanted to rest in the shade or put up our tent,
steers had deposited numerous "cow pies" exactly where I aimed for.  And I
do mean *every time*.   Of course, this only proves that they were as smart
as I was and had similar preferences and tastes.  My only revenge was to
enjoy a stop at Lottaburger in Silver City and eat a few!  J


Dr Bob



From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
On Behalf Of Ed Kerr
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 9:31 PM
To: blisterfree at yahoo.com; cdt backcountry
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] Fwd: : wild horse roundup


Your comment about wild horses are better for the range than cattle is not
true. If wild horses are left unchecked, nature is the cruelist manager of
all, overpopulation results in herd management by starvation or disease.
You have a biased attitude toward cattle and the industry, using the word
"rancher" as some would use the "n" word.  I love the land, I enjoy ranching
in the desert southwest, and I think we as a nation should use our
resources, such as BLM range, to the best use which includes sustainable ag.
Some would have us lock up everything and not use it.  In that case, their
would be no wildlife or wild horses in the west due to lack of water
resources, which have been provided by cattle ranchers and maintained by
those ranchers.  The CDT trail through Hidalgo County is over 75 miles with
no water sources, other than those provided by cattle water, which provides
this life giving liquid to deer, antelope, quail, javelina, mountain lion,
and much more...
I would be glad to visit with you.  I would love to show you our part of the
CDT trail through our cattle ranch.  We maintain cattle numbers to not use
more than 50% of the forage and grasses that grow each year from natural
rainfall.  The grass stays healthy and the cattle do well, along with all
the wildlife.  We rotate our cattle through different pastures throughout
the year, so that some pastures are rested 6 months or more each year.  No
modern  rancher would ever overgraze.  In fact, it is impossible to
overgraze, cows die before they eat all the grass or destroy it.  In a
drought, the feed value of the feed goes down and the cattle lose condition,
we always sell off our herd during dry years.  To do otherwise would be
suicidal in a business sense.
Have you been through the CDT?

Ed "Bim" Kerr
Kerr Ranch Tours
edkerr52 at hotmail.com
www.kerrranchtours.com <http://www.kerrranchtours.com/> 


> Date: Sat, 25 Dec 2010 23:52:57 -0500
> From: blisterfree at yahoo.com
> To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
> Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] Fwd: : wild horse roundup
> When we cut through the rhetoric, we recognize that wild horses, while 
> not indigenous to the West, are nonetheless ancestral to western North 
> America, and that the land is far more suited to their style of grazing 
> than that of today's beef cow. Of course the BLM's notion of 
> "sustainable conditions" is largely an economic principle. The grazing 
> allotment is for the benefit of the beef ranching industry, and that 
> industry, subsidized by the BLM, gets to decide when and with what they 
> share their range. From their point of view, overpopulation is mostly a 
> synonym for economic threat. But of course from a biological 
> perspective, overpopulation by cattle is simply the devastating status 
> quo that is pushing the land to the brink, evolving it to shape the 
> requirements of an industry at the expense of native biodiversity. The 
> industry's defense remains that this status quo is necessary, because 
> the only perceived alternative, however false, is for the rancher to 
> abandon his relationship with the land, to give up ranching altogether. 
> And this false binary logic maintains a culture of permissiveness on the 
> part of BLM out of fear of damaging the relationship, of losing what 
> little faith and cooperation the ranching industry continues to uphold 
> with the government.
> Had the wild horses of North America survived the last ice age, then 
> today we might be eating horse burgers and reading about how the 
> natives, skilled equestrians, successfully drove off the invading 
> Conquistadors and their cattle. Food for thought.
> - blisterfree
> _______________________________________________
> Cdt-l mailing list
> Cdt-l at backcountry.net
> http://mailman.backcountry.net/mailman/listinfo/cdt-l

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman.backcountry.net/pipermail/cdt-l/attachments/20101230/a0f91b72/attachment.html 

More information about the Cdt-l mailing list