The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument encompasses 1.9 million acres in southern Utah, making it the largest land area of all U.S. national monuments. It has been controversial since its inception in September, 1996, when President Bill Clinton used his authority under the Antiquities Act to create it while campaigning for a second term.
Justin Oldfield, government relations vice president for the California Cattlemen’s Association, notes cattle herds nationwide are at their lowest numbers since 1953. Cattle rustling always has been a problem for the livestock industry, he says, adding he has seen an increase in such incidents.
A U.S. House of Representative committee on Oct. 29 endorsed the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship (FUELS) Act, which allows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to exempt small farmers and ranchers from maintaining expensive oil storage facilities.
Five wolves killed during Wyoming’s second annual wolf hunt in an area next to Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Valley may have been part of a well-known pack in the area. They were killed in Hunt Area 2 northeast of Cody over three days in mid-October.
Another case was confirmed Sept. 26 in Madison County. Brucellosis was since found in two more animals from its 1,100-head herd. All of the animals had been vaccinated. Testing on animals from herds adjacent to the ranches with infections continue in both Madison and Park counties.
The American Farm Bureau’s director for public policy says the federal government’s shutdown should not immediately impact the nation’s farmers and ranchers, but if it goes beyond a few days, their frustration and inconvenience could turn into serious problems.
Since taking the Livestock Marketing Association’s World Livestock Auctioneer (WLA) Championship in Alabama last June, Dustin Focht estimates he has driven 12,000 miles in the customized 2013 Ford F-150 pickup truck he won and flown up to 20,000 miles—and that’s after only about 30 percent into his year-long term.
Siddoway Sheep Co. runs five herds on thousands of primarily National Forest acres toward the Idaho/ Wyoming border, ranging from St. Anthony to Palisades to Island Park. Each allotment spans 6,000 to 11,000 acres. The Dog Creek allotment where elk feed has been hit worst with 35 sheep kills on the Bridger- Teton National Forest.
At least 14 large fires have been burning simultaneously in the Gem State, including five in the Sawtooth National Forest of central Idaho, where the monstrous Bear Creek Fire threatened more than a thousand homes and forced hundreds to evacuate in the Sun Valley-Hailey-Ketchum area.