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Sequoia Decides to Fully Protect Resources

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Postby Buck Forester » Fri Feb 10, 2006 11:11 am

Well, if "science" says it's scientifically okay to graze cows in Yosemite Valley, I say screw science! :unibrow:



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Postby dave54 » Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:40 pm

Buck Forester wrote:Well, if "science" says it's scientifically okay to graze cows in Yosemite Valley, I say screw science! :unibrow:


The original thread was about grazing in the Sequoia Monument, administered by the Forest Service, not Yosemite administered by the National Park Service.

Two different agencies with different legal mandates on land management. NPS, with a few exceptions, does not allow grazing on its lands. The Multiple Use Act specifically mentions grazing as an acceptable use of National Forest lands to be given equal consideration as other uses, including recreation (wood, water, forage, wildlife, and recreation).

I realize 'low', 'mid', and 'high' elevation meadows are subjective definitions, but I really did not think anyone here would put Yosemite Valley in the 'high' category.
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Postby Buck Forester » Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:47 am

Hi dave54! I was just using Yosemite Valley as an example of a "beautiful place", and even if "science" says it's okay to have cattle graze in Yosemite Valley, it's not okay with me. Or any beautiful area in the high country for that matter. Some places are too aesthetically beautiful, and some places are too wild, to have domestic cattle grazing around. It marrs the beauty and takes the wild out of the experience. One reason we have wild lands is for the wildlife to have places to be wild, and another is for the redeeming qualities it has for the human to experience. Even if science says it's "okay" to graze, that doesn't mean it's "okay" on a number of other levels. Of course this is just my opinion and how I feel about it. I don't mind seeing cows in lowland areas so much, but if I hike 10 miles to "get wild" and I come across a herd of cattle, there goes the experience. And it's happened to me a number of times.
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Postby dave54 » Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:37 pm

Well, it looks like we agree to disagree.

I personally have no problems with seeing cattle in the backcountry. It doesn't bother me.

On the other hand, I try to head to the little known or lesser used corners of the public lands, and seeing other backpackers in 'my secret spot' diminishes the value of the trip. If my goal is to seek solitude then other people sharing the area has 'ruined' my efforts, whereas cattle do not.
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Postby AldeFarte » Wed Feb 15, 2006 7:20 pm

I have to second Dave54's notion of rather sharing the backcountry with cattle than people. I have a firm notion that cattle help keep the backcountry the way we know it today. They help diminish fuel loading where fire suppression has been the order of of the day for a long time. There is more life and diversity of life in in open woodlands and meadows than a solid carpet of mature trees. Plus cougars like a change of diet other than puppies ,deer ,kitty's and female joggers. jls
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Postby Buck Forester » Wed Feb 15, 2006 8:03 pm

Hey, since when did I give them impression that I really really like seeing other people in remote areas? huh Huh HUH? :) I thought we were tawkin' cows, not people! I get real remote to get away from both! Not that I don't like people or don't like cows, but if I'm seeking a truly wild experience, I'd rather have neither (except for those in my own party if I'm with others).

The notion that cows are "good" for the high wilderness surprises me. They aren't even natural there. They are good in a burger, but they aren't good for a fragile meadow. Are you guys being serious? That domestic cows are actually GOOD, as in BENEFICIAL, for the wilderness? I'll admit, that's a new one on me, and I thought I had pretty much heard it all! :cool: If ya'll aren't pullin' my leg on that one, then the only thing I can think of to respond to that one is "WUT-EVAH"! ha ha! To each his own!
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Postby dave54 » Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:27 pm

Buck Forester wrote:The notion that cows are "good" for the high wilderness surprises me. They aren't even natural there. They are good in a burger, but they aren't good for a fragile meadow. Are you guys being serious? That domestic cows are actually GOOD, as in BENEFICIAL, for the wilderness? I'll admit, that's a new one on me, and I thought I had pretty much heard it all!


In ecosystem management 'good' and 'bad' are human-defined ethnocentric terms. People make that distinction, nature is indifferent.

Livestock grazing can have benefits that outweigh the negatives, (from a purely human viewpoint), or vice versa. So does backpacking. The pluses and minuses are not all biological, either. Jack Thomas, the former Chief Forester for the Forest Service (and a scientist) said "The National Forests cannot be managed by science alone. All factors -- political, social, and economic, must be considered." That is a powerful statement from someone who spent most of his professional life as a research biologist.
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Postby Buck Forester » Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:41 pm

Yes, I would agree, "all factors must be considered" because there are many competing interests. But that doesn't mean all factors are "good". I mean, off-road vehicles sure are fun, but what they do to the environment in many cases is not pretty (I know, I have a 4-wheel drive truck and have done plenty of off-roading in my daze). But we need to accomodate places for off-roaders because it's their land too. But that doesn't make it "good" in terms of the environment. Same with ranching on public lands. Same with allowing mountain bikes in some areas and not others, and same with dogs in the wilderness, and same with backpackers and regulations. We all have to "consider" each other and have various places regulated to accomodate many competing interests. I have no problem with that concept, but that doesn't make it better for the ecosystem (or necessarily worse, it all depends). But some of us have different tolerances for different things. Me, for example, I cannot stand cows in designated Wilderness Areas, I think it's wrong on ALL levels. But Mr. Rancher disagrees with me. And apparently you do too. Which is fine. But I'll keep fighting against cows in the Wilderness and Mr. Rancher will keep fighting for them and we all hope for changes according to our way of thinking. Life is good®.
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Postby AldeFarte » Thu Feb 16, 2006 12:12 am

I don't want to see cattle in a high mtn. meadow either. It just don't totally ruin my buzz, thats all. I don't want to see fire in my favorite spots either. After 10 years, tho, things look better. And are usually healthier. I will agree that cattle do not belong everywhere. Kind of like that cute little froggie. He just can't live in peace with our lovely trout. jls :D
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