Friday, September 20, 2019

Welfare ranchers could help slow global warming

The name has been bastardized from Cyprian to Siparyann to Slippery Ann Creek. It has become a safe refuge where elk gather as they leave summer grazing in the upper Missouri River Basin and migrate downstream to escape the winter. Managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the area is at the extreme west beginning of the Fort Peck Reservoir in eastern Montana.

An Odd Goddess and an interested party counted a hundred wapiti in the meadow while another hundred browsed and bugled concealed by the cottonwood and willow stands on the riverbanks. The waxing gibbous moon extended our viewing time well beyond twilight and long after the line of humans in cars and trucks on the road below us had dispersed. Then, coyotes harmonized in a chorus that continued until dawn. Spring flooding sustained stands of grass that still hid elk calves and cows while they lazed about.
Undeterred by its local unpopularity, last year the nonprofit bought an old storefront in downtown Lewistown for an office. [American Prairie Reserve]’s Laura Huggins said the building will eventually become a “gateway” to the APR, much like the community of West Yellowstone welcomes visitors to neighboring Yellowstone National Park. [Rural heart of Montana confronts change at Lewistown conference]
Wildlife corridors over public and private land to the Fork Peck, Crow, and Northern Cheyenne nations then into Wyoming's Thunder Basin National Grassland and beyond to North and South Dakota would help create the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge.
The Great Dying of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas resulted in a human-driven global impact on the Earth System in the two centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution. [Earth system impacts of the European arrival and Great Dying in the Americas after 1492]
Global warming has been accelerating since humans began setting fires to clear habitat, as a weapon or just for amusement. Evidence that we humans have eaten or burned ourselves out of habitats creating catastrophes behind us is strewn throughout the North American continent. European settlement and the Industrial Revolution in the New World took hardwoods for charcoal then humans allowed fast-growing conifers to replace lost forests.
“Changes need to be made in our industry,” R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard told a crowd of about 200 ranchers and farm/ranch-related individuals at a meeting Thursday night, Sept. 12, at the Moose Club in Mobridge. “If we don’t make these changes, we will end up just like all the other vertically-integrated livestock and poultry industries.” Bullard also noted that packers are making record margins of over $300 per head, which is about $150 per head higher than the 10 year average margin. “We all thought Pres. Trump understood, and he did for some industries, such as auto, truck and textile, but not for beef,” Bullard added. “For beef USMCA does absolutely nothing. Because we are not as big as NCBA, they listened to them rather than to us.” [Mobridge Tribune]
Federal ag subsidies aren't self-reliance; they're moral hazard. Desertification driven by agricultural practices, overgrazing, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and urban sprawl have turned much of the United States into scorched earth.

Restoring and rewilding American ecosystems are parts of the Green New Deal.

The Anthropocene is now and time to rewild some of the American West eventually becoming part of a Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge connecting the CM Russell in Montana along the Missouri River through North Dakota to Oacoma, South Dakota combined with corridors from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon in the north and south to the Canadian River through eastern Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, western Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Clear the second growth conifers and restore aspen habitat, prescribe burns, begin extensive Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids, empower tribes and buy out ranchers or lease private land for wildlife corridors, turn feral horses from Bureau of Land Management pastures onto other public land to control exotic grasses and elect Democrats to lead the way.

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