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Re: [pct-l] Re: Defiant rancher once more loses grazing case, may now go to ...

Tom and Carl,

You two have way too much time on your hands to spend in total violent 
agreement on this list!  

I prefer to argue against stupid cow logic with science.  It is amazing but 
that is what is generally driving environmental legislature in this country.  
It is amazing because that was not always the case.  

Point in case:  The Pacific Fisheries Commission (or some such named 
authority, don't crucify me if I recalled this wrong), the authority that 
sets commercial fishing limits on the West coast recently reversed itself 
after 25 years of ignoring the scientific evidence to recognize that human 
fishing can effect the survival of once abundant fish species.  In the face 
of serious decline of numerous species it has just now begun to set limits 
and put certain areas off limit to commercial fishing.  It has held the 
belief since evidence of species decline was scientifically tied to 
commercial fishing in the 1970s that fish species were so abundant and 
diversified and widely spread that commercial fishing could never threaten 
their survival.  

A recent study I saw a description of pointed to the serious decline of 
wetland flora and fauna in the Western U.S. wherever cattle grazing was 
allowed on public lands.  The cattle naturally seek out and reap the most 
succulent plants in and around streams, creeks, rivers, meadows, swamps, 
etc., and thereby removes the cover and diversity of plants that local fauna 
require.  The entire ecosystem slowly degrades over time until erosion 
accelerates and sediment loads increase downstream filling in the dams faster 
(hmmm . . . maybe not such a bad thing on second thought ;-)   Migrant birds 
disappear, silent Spring ensues and then, oh God, AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

I haven't seen any similar studies released about the massive decline of any 
area, flora or fauna due to backpackers.  That's not to say they don't exist. 
 And I have seen my share of campsite areas in the Sierras that show serious 
impact from backpackers.  It IS a matter of degree of impact.

If the science and economics don't make sense to the public trust then I 
believe the practice should be stopped.

Best regards,

Greg "Strider" Hummel

PS: I rejoice at the removal of the commercial pack station from Yosemite.  I 
guess they thought that this is incompatible with the natural setting, even 
in light of the historical value that horses have brought to the Valley.  
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