Western Watersheds Project responds to lawsuit from ranchers group

(Jackson, Wyo.) – The Western Watersheds Project has released a statement in response to a lawsuit filed against it by a collection of ranchers, including some from Fremont County. The complete statement is below.

Last month Western Watersheds Project was sued by a group of Wyoming ranchers who alleged the group trespassed in order to collect samples of poor quality water from streams within public grazing allotments on federal land.

Today (July 25), Western Watersheds Project filed its answer to those claims, refuting all of the ranchers’ allegations and raising counterclaims against the plaintiffs, including their abuse of process for bringing the lawsuit in order to intimidate and destroy Western Watersheds Project and to conceal their own wrongdoing and the illegal environmental conditions on these lands.

“The ranchers really didn’t want the public to find out how much harm their cows were causing to the public waters,” said Travis Bruner, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project. “Instead of spending time and money cleaning up their operations, the ranchers and Karen Budd-Falen are bringing a frivolous lawsuit. It is so clearly intended to silence us, but you’ll note that no one is claiming the data showing the astoundingly poor water quality conditions were wrong.”

Western Watersheds Project collected and submitted water quality data to the Wyoming Department of Water Quality that showed E. coli bacteria occurring at harmful levels. E. coli is a coliform bacteria spread by livestock through defecation in or near to water, and this causes harm to wildlife habitat, endangers drinking supplies and puts people at risk of infection. The Wyoming DEQ is obligated to release a list of the state’s impaired waters. Rather than release the report to the public, the DEQ released the draft to affected ranchers who then concluded, with no additional evidence, that trespass might have occurred up to nine years prior.

Western Watersheds Project is being represented in its response by leading environmental and civil liberties law professors who are taking the case pro bono because it is such an obvious attempt to sabotage the important work the organization does to uncover livestock industry abuses of public trust resources. The attorneys, Justin Marceau and Justin Pidot from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, support WWP’s efforts to reveal the profound environmental impacts of these grazing operations to the public.

“This lawsuit has all the markings of an attempt to muzzle one of the few groups in the country that holds persons accountable for polluting our public waters. From what I have seen so far, this is really shameful conduct by a group of ranchers with too much to hide and too much money to spend on lawyers harassing small nonprofits,” said Justin Marceau.

“Federal law has long relied on groups of concerned citizens, like those involved with the Western Watersheds Project, to monitor pollution and enforce rules designed to protect our shared environment. Trespass law has become a favored tool to which individuals and businesses profiting from environmental degradation turn in an effort to silence criticism and conceal information about the consequences of their activities. Winning is often beside the point to plaintiffs in these lawsuits,” said Justin Pidot, attorney on the case. “Just filing the lawsuit imposes substantial costs on the defendants and chills citizen involvement in protecting public natural resources. To counter that chill, and protect the crucial role that citizens play in enforcing environment law, it is particularly important for defendants like Western Watersheds Project to have access to high quality, pro bono representation.”

116 Comments

  1. P.h. Schroeder

    You go WWP. And these are the welfare ranchers sucking off the tit of the Government with subsidies. Shameful .

  2. A.l. Gustin

    Wayne Have proved grazing allotments are private property, unique, but private. Everyone who has private property should be watching. And personally I know, if a rancher is on welfare, they probably don't have cows!

  3. David Weber

    People who are on the side of western watershed project really need to do there homework and find out what these organizations are all about. They want to destroy farms and ranches. Make grazing on public lands banned, and just basically destroy people's way of life. If you like to eat dirt go ahead and donate to these cutthroat public service organizations. When hamburger prices jump to $20 a pound I hope y'all feel real good about yourselves.. I know most of the ranches in this lawsuit and I wish all of them the best of luck in this lawsuit

  4. Stacia Corbett Citron

    You are obviously extremely uninformed about the topic and should do a little research. Your ignorant comment is what's shameful.

  5. P.h. Schroeder

    Since I don't eat beef because of all the GMO and other crap in it I prefer to save the water as I do need that. The ranchers are getting subsidies from the Gov don't kid anyone.

  6. Bob Hargis

    If the water is being polluted by poor ranching practices on public land ..the public has a right to know and the practices by these ranchers demonstrating poor stewardship must be exposed and they should be legally held accountable for pollutions and clean up.

  7. Stacia Corbett Citron

    You would probably find the same thing in any pond or open water.. Livestock are not the only animals using this water. Western Watershed is infamous for using skewed information because they have an agenda. They have one goal and will manipulate data and do whatever it takes to reach it.

  8. Stacia Corbett Citron

    I know all of these people. They do not demonstrate 'poor practices'. They are all in good standing and work closely with the BLM. Western Watershed is a domestic terrorism organization. And we are talking about private land. That's the point. Would be the equivalent of of an animal rights group testing your dog's water in your back yard when you're not home. What would they find there.

  9. Dain Medow

    How about the other side of the story county 10? Not just the skewed and misleading side. Just another lawsuit to try and hurt the American rancher. Shame.

  10. Dain Medow

    You really should move back to California where you and your idiotic thought process belong.

  11. County 10

    Dain, there's a link to the ranchers' filing the lawsuit at the top of this story. Thanks for reading.

  12. David Weber

    Well your dam carrots come from somewhere to you dip shit. People who run cows farm to get a clue

  13. Loren L. Calvert

    It is no secret that western watersheds only agenda is to get cattle off public lands any way they can even to lying

  14. Tom Throop

    Western Watershed Project is a highly respected, science-based organization, with a history of warranted and necessary actions to clean-up publicly-owned water resources in the west. To date, WWP has not succumbed to threats and intimidation, and my guess is these ranchers and their notorious hit-lawyer will be sorry they ever filed this suit.

  15. John Clark

    As one of the owners of public land, I endorse any organization that demonstrates my land is being spoiled.

  16. Marion Dickinson

    The operative word is IF. Western watersheds has made a ton of money harassing and suing everyone in sight. It is good to see them getting the same treatment. I hope it is like the Chilton family in Arizona that filed a lawsuit against the Centers for biological Diversity and won $600,000 for the harassment and lying they did.

  17. Marion Dickinson

    That is so much male bovine fertilizer. Exactly what do you folks think you are going to eat if you eliminate the food producers?

  18. Tom Throop

    Marion Dickinson -I understand you are the type of person who cannot make researched, reasoned arguments, but, instead, have to resort to calling names, because that is all you have. I feel so sorry for you.

  19. Kevin Cowling

    Prior to the slaughter of tens of million Bison in the 1800s can you say they never "defecated in or near to water". I doubt E. Coli is a new to the watershed

  20. Dain Medow

    Highly respected….ha!

  21. Ted Chu

    Marion Dickinson No one is trying to eliminate the real food producers but we all know that producing beef is one of if not the most costly to the environment method of producing protein. Add to that the fact that few us of can afford beef (except for high fat content burger) compared to chicken, pork or fish and the claim that public lands ranchers are helping feed the world just doesn't hold up very well.

  22. Ted Chu

    I don't understand how someone can be sued for "trespassing" on national public lands. They are public lands after all. Can anyone enlighten me on this legal point?

  23. Ryan M Simmons

    Cattle ranching is heavily taxpayer subsidized – welfare ranching if you will – through below market lease rates on our public lands, road maintenance, predator management, etc… which in turn keeps beef prices artificially low. Artificially low at the expense of the taxpayer. This has nothing to do with destroying 'people's way of life' so much as it has to do with propping up an outdated and costly industry for a handful of people at the expense of everyone else. Cattle are THE most destructive force on our public lands – far outweighing even that of fracking and oil production – yet all done at an economic loss.

  24. Ryan M Simmons

    Fairly simple concept here to see that the ranchers were the one's who filed the lawsuit – not WWS. This is an attempt to stifle free speech from the ranching side who don't want the general public to see all the damage they are causing to the water supply. Try reading the article Dain and then come back to comment.

  25. Ryan M Simmons

    So what exactly have they lied about? They took water samples and submitted them for testing. According to the article and lawsuit by the ranching interests, the ranchers lawsuit has nothing to do with what the tests revealed but rather WWS ability to collect samples on land you and I own – not the ranching companies.

  26. Chris Rosamond

    Let me tell you a little secret, David: Market forces will run all you public welfare ranchers out of business within 20 years. It ain't the "dirty commies" at WWP who will do it to you: it'll be the fact that its cheaper to raise good quality beef on private lands in places that have better climate, feed, and water availability than public grazing allotments. . As for your wild claim about 20$ a pound beef, consider that public welfare ranching amounts for what? 5 percent of the beef raised in the U.S. Your piddling little contribution to the food supply won't even be missed at the checkout stand. At all. All I want is for you to recognize, before the market forces run you right out of business, son, that your way of life is more expensive for us taxpayers to pay for than it is for us to pay for the food stamps and welfare checks of any inner city welfare mother ever dragged out by the republican party and used as an example of why we need to end welfare. You're parasites. And whats more: you're proud of it. Which means y'all ain't much of an American. Grow up and stand on your own two feet, son. Quit being a parasite.

  27. Ted Chu

    Ryan M Simmons Not to mention the tens of thousands of miles of right-of-way fencing along public highways going through public lands paid for with taxes on gasoline and vehicle registrations, all to benefit the rancher.

  28. Ted Chu

    Stacia Corbett Citron The article says it was done on public lands. You say private. Does anyone know for sure which it was?

  29. Chris Rosamond

    Marion Dickinson you welfare ranchers produce a whole 5% of the beef raised in America. Your low quality range beef ain't gonna be missed one bit. Besides, americans are eating less beef on a per capita basis every year.

  30. Ryan M Simmons

    Ted Chu ohhh I get it and see the devastation all over Utah. There's even a self-serving little monument that the cattle ranchers put up to congratulate themselves on all the good they think they've done for the nation along the Pony Express Trail just outside of Faust. Drive a little ways past that pull-out and you're right in the middle of wild horse country where the BLM spends millions upon millions of dollars of tax payers money to round up those wild horses as they compete with welfare ranchers for with what little there is to graze on. The area is an absolute wasteland where little to no vegetation can take hold in the sandy soil left behind by the cattle.

  31. Mark Bailey

    I am a Western Watersheds Project groupie! Go WWP!

  32. Ryan M Simmons

    You're leaving out the balance of predators that drove herds rather than allowing them sit in one place for months and strip the vegetation along riverbanks, etc… Part of the drain that comes from welfare ranching is 'predator management' so cattle can stay in one area for long periods causing erosion, mass vegetation and species loss, etc…. so that cattle ranchers can drive up to pasture later and round up plump cows. That practice leaves no natural defense or filter to clean out water supplies. Cattle aren't native, unlike buffalo. And cattle have no predators to keep them in check as the USDA is employed to kill them off on the tax payer dime at the behest of ranchers. Bringing the bison and their successful reign over the land for tens of thousands of years is a rather weak argument to bring to the table.

  33. Mark Bailey

    Stacia Corbett Citron Clean water.

  34. Stacia Corbett Citron

    you really think bison didn't destroy riparian areas? I know, not the romantic myth. Bison swept through an area and left nothing behind. Wild horses, antelope, deer, elk, all gravitate toward riparian areas. That's where the best feed is. There was just no government and Nazi environmental groups around to harass them.

  35. Stacia Corbett Citron

    Organizations like WW are the ones that have been harassing people for years. They have just gotten away with it because they use scare tactics to build up public outrage. If these test were so important they sure didn't feel the need to bring them to light, until they needed a distraction from the real issue.

  36. Stacia Corbett Citron

    And I'm sure you buy everything they dish out. Just like a good sheep.

  37. Stacia Corbett Citron

    They trespass on private land to get to these sites. They have also taken grass and water samples on private land, because frankly they actually don't know where they are. They use misleading photos of 'riparian areas', some on private land They have been known to sneak into places they shouldn't be, they manipulate data to suit their needs. And they use scare tactics like this to gain support

  38. Stacia Corbett Citron

    If beef were raised on private land you couldn't even afford a McDonald's burger. It is simple business math. If you followed a beef from grazing to the store you would see where the costs go. Organic and low fat beef is gaining popularity, the only drawback is the price, which producers are trying to keep down. The ranchers are not making the profit. The packers are. I wonder who you think the 'real producers' are? Perhaps you think they plant seeds in the feedlot and grow the beef there?

  39. Angela Percival

    Stacia Corbett Citron People turn in animal hoarders and abusers all the time so that justice is brought to bear. Everyone is supposed to follow the law, which includes protecting water quality. If they are doing everything right, they should have no worries.

  40. Julie Long Gallegos

    Stacia Corbett Citron Well, then, it seems the facts are: whether it's raised on public or private land, beef is is a loser. It's too expensive to produce! So – not a good investment. So – maybe leave the public land to the animals who do best on it. Right?

  41. Julie Long Gallegos

    Stacia Corbett Citron Stop throwing around words you don't understand, like "Nazi". Fact: when bison were plentiful they kept moving and had lots of room to roam in. Sure they ate and then they moved on.

  42. Ted Chu

    Marion Dickinson The fact is WWP has won almost every lawsuit they file which indicates they were right in filing them. So don't shoot the messenger. The problem is not WWP, but rather the ranchers and agencies that don't abide by environmental laws and their own, in the case of the agencies, rules and regulations. The Center for Biodiversity is a different group and they should be embarrassed by what they did in the Chilton Case. Because of that I no longer support them.

  43. Ted Chu

    Stacia Corbett Citron …."Nazi environmental groups….." Really? How disrespectful to the people who suffered at the hands of the real Nazis. You should be ashamed.

  44. Ted Chu

    Stacia Corbett Citron But they win almost all their lawsuits, in court, decided by judges and juries. How do you explain that.

  45. Stacia Corbett Citron

    you think there would be water for wildlife to drink on public lands ifthe producers weren't there to maintain it? You want to leave it tothe government to take care of them? When has the government been good at anything. Producers maintain water, fences, power, and everything wildlife use at their own expense. Not included in grazing fees by the way. Your welcome.

  46. Ryan M Simmons

    And the cattle industry doesn't have an agenda? Hmmm… I would be willing to bet your freedom of speech that the cattle industry spends more on lobbying in the US than all the environmental causes combined. Like Big Tobacco, Big Cattle is on the defense and they're playing nasty – perhaps you'll recall the Montana cattle rancher who appeared on Oprah and took into question beef and his own industry. He was taken to court by Big Beef in an attempt to shut him up. Fortunately he won, but that was the tipping point for the industry to hide all the bad their doing which has since culminated in Ag-Gag laws in Utah, Idaho and a number of other states. Sorry but when an industry tries to stifle our most basic right as outlined in our nation's Bill Of Rights they are barking down a dark road and need to be put out of business.

  47. Dylan Hopkins

    You do understand that it is called "public land" and not "rancher's livelihoods land", right? It belongs to to the public, so the general public does get a say on how they want the land to be managed.

  48. Ryan M Simmons

    Stacia Corbett Citron unlike labeling those who are opposed to and exposing what they're doing as 'eco-terrorists'? Who's really using scare tactics here?

  49. Ryan M Simmons

    Stacia Corbett Citron throwing 'Nazi' into an argument is a tell tale sign that you've lost and can no longer formulate a rational response. It's called Godwin's Law and is a sad state of arguing a point:

    Godwin's law (or Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an Internet adage asserting that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1"— that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism.

    Promulgated by American attorney and author Mike Godwin in 1990, Godwin's Law originally referred, specifically, to Usenet newsgroup discussions. It is now applied to any threaded online discussion, such as Internet forums, chat rooms and blog comment threads, as well as to speeches, articles and other rhetoric.

    In 2012, "Godwin's Law" became an entry in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.

  50. Julie Long Gallegos

    Stacia Corbett Citron Who "produces" water? You? Me?No. If there isn't enough water, wild animals will stay away, and look for places that have water. "Producers" – or ranchers, i guess you mean, need all kinds of infrastructure and support to keep their livestock watered. It's a costly and ineffective way to raise livestock and eventually, when drought inevitably occurs, throws the expense of raising beef into sharp, clear relief. It's a loser bet. So, livestock doesn't belong on public lands.

  51. Stacia Corbett Citron

    I'm not sure why everyone has the idea that all ranchers are rich.. If they are, they didn't make their money in cattle. We are just trying to make a living and raise our children doing something we love. I hope what you love to do is not threatened so you feel the need to defend yourself so. It amazes me how many of you say go something else. Why don't you stop doing what you do? It's easy to tell someone else what they should do. You only understand what you want to, and controversy is always more fun. Let's try to remember you're dealing with people just like you. Now I have animals(which I also love) and children to take care of and cannot devote any more time to this.

  52. Stacia Corbett Citron

    exposing something when it is wrong, yes. Burning fences, leaving gates open, shooting livestock, manipulating information, yeah, that's terrorism.

  53. Stacia Corbett Citron

    They just lost one in the same county for not having information to back their claims.

  54. Julie Long Gallegos

    I know you're gone, Stacia Corbett Citron, but nobody here has the notion that ranchers are rich. We know that is not the case for most ranchers, and one of the reasons they aren't rich (among many reasons) has been stated here many times, but I'll put it again – because, cattle ranching is cost-prohibitive over time.

  55. Stacia Corbett Citron

    Oh and no public outcry over the county 10 article on ecoli in the river? Where is WW on that? No cattle there. Perhaps if the DEQ felt the levels in this 10 yr old 'study'were of concern, they would have done something about it. They sure jump on everything else.

  56. Ryan M Simmons

    Stacia Corbett Citron, the World Bank (which is controlled by US Banks BTW) and the UN both cite in respective studies that it takes approximately 660 gallons of water to produce the beef for one hamburger – and those were conservative estimates. To answer your question regarding water left for wildlife and habitat if we rid the land of cattle is most definitely a big 'yes.' And sorry, but wildlife don't use fences and power – that's an insane argument.

  57. Ryan M Simmons

    Stacia Corbett Citron unlike the sheep who pay dues to all the cattlemen's associations across the country? The cattle industry is one of the most aggressive lobbying groups who have put forth a litany of laws designed to suppress our freedom of speech – most notably the AG-Gag laws that are about to go to court and more of our tax payer money used to defend on the State level.

  58. Ryan M Simmons

    Stacia Corbett Citron, shooting livestock? Really… you honestly believe that. Come on, who's manipulating information here? Or, the question that really needs to be asked it, what are these ranchers featured in this article trying to hide from the public?

  59. Stacia Corbett Citron

    Oh, please! I apologize for distracting you from the original argument. Since you have so much time on your hands maybe you should do some real research on the subject.

  60. Ryan M Simmons

    Stacia Corbett Citron, I have and am 110% opposed to cattle ranching on public lands. I am also opposed to my tax dollars being used to prop up a dead and dying industry just so a few people can continue to live an outdated, fantasy lifestyle at the expense of the rest of the planet.

  61. Stacia Corbett Citron

    Trying finally to defend themselves against years of harassment. Perhaps you've never paid attention to livestock deaths but that it doesnt mean it doesn't happen. Oh right, again doesn't fit that romantic image of environmental heroism..

  62. Ryan M Simmons

    Stacia Corbett Citron, please post a link to an article from a legitimate news source covering environmentalists killing cattle in the US. Perhaps in South America where environmentalists are being killed by cattle ranchers at an alarming rate down there – like this 73 year old nun from the US. No surprise, US cattle interests have their hands deep in Brazilian beef production: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-24177359

  63. Morgan Kanae

    If they pollute the water they need to clean it up. The politico is affecting us all. They look like bullies who will not clean up after themselves. Shame they are destroying the land and put people's health st risk,

  64. Ryan M Simmons

    Stacia Corbett Citron, link to the World Bank .PDF outlining their concerns over cattle production. I'm not making this up. This is from a major bank, not an environmental group and they outline all the risks to our water supply, the economy, human health, grassland overgrazing, all the government imposed subsidies to keep the cattle industry afloat, etc…: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTARD/Resources/FinalMindingtheStock.pdf

  65. Ted Chu

    Stacia Corbett Citron Yes livestock get killed on the range mostly by thrill seeking rednecks with too many beers and too many guns. There have been some acts of vandalism by radicals against ski resorts and such and the rest of us deplore that sort of criminal activity. I know of no evidence of mainstream conservation types doing this sort of thing. If you have some please provide it.

  66. Mark Bailey

    Stacia Corbett Citron In fact I have sent them money more than once.

  67. Ted Chu

    Stacia Corbett Citron The wildlife native to our arid lands do not need artificial water sources – most including sage-grouse do just fine on the moisture they obtain from their food. Artificial water sources merely allow species of animals – cows, elk and feral horses immediately come to mind – to occupy areas that are not suited for them. Also it is often the case with trucked in water that as soon as the range dries out the cows are moved off and the tanks allowed to dry up stranding wildlife that have become habituated to having the water there.

  68. Ryan M Simmons

    Ted Chu 45 cattle were just killed by lightning up in Montana last week. I was honestly waiting for the comments to come flooding in that wolves somehow created the lightning in some satanic, anti-cattle voodoo circle they created one evening while howling at the moon. Cattle ranchers and predator haters, feel free to use that one royalty free. Get creative… you know, relate the wolves to the Nazi's or something apocalyptic like that. Maybe some skinny vegan kid with an AR-15 he stole from his dad's closet while he was passed out one night after the Idaho Bronco's lost a game. *sigh*

  69. Marion Dickinson

    Those of you who hate agricultural producers do have a way to eliminate them….quit eating a single bite of food that you do not produce yourself. Speaking of subsidies, exactly what does WW produce except lawsuits that cost the American taxpayer….while they pay absolutely no taxes, you & I pay every bit of the tax on their millions. Those who use our public lands for recreation also receive a benefit that is only for themselves, should they too pay "market price" for recreational use, especially when no one besides the recreationalist benefits from it? Or are they sponging off the taxpayers? We live in interesting times when anyone can convince a single person that it would be in their best interest to get rid of the food and energy producers in our country. Do you folks even stop to think what you are asking for?

  70. Ted Chu

    Stacia Corbett Citron I said they win MOST of their lawsuits – over 90% I believe. They have lost some. Please provide the name(s) of the litigants or a link to back up your claim.

  71. Marion Dickinson

    Including those who use if for recreation and leave their bodily waste all over it?

  72. Ryan M Simmons

    Mark Bailey WWP came out to speak at a rather controversial local event here in SLC last week. Totally cool and level headed group who knew their business.

  73. Marion Dickinson

    Then explain why beef costs are going up as the number of cattle are going down if you really believe that eliminating cattle so enviros have more places to play (for free) is good for the country.

  74. Ryan M Simmons

    Marion Dickinson beef costs are going up but those costs are offset by taxpayer funded subsidies. Real market value for a McDonald's hamburger if you factor in all the real costs associated with bringing that burger to market would put it around $14.00 conservatively. This has nothing to do with more places to play as it does breathing clean air, drinking clean water, healthy oceans, healthy wildlife and eco-system. If that means allowing beef to wallow at the high prices that it should really be sold at and having less people consume it because I'm not supporting their habit with my tax dollars – then I'm in support of $14.00+ Big Mac's.

  75. Ted Chu

    Marion Dickinson All of us that pay taxes and fees pay for the management of our public lands. None of it is free, except public lands livestock grazers are actually subsidized by the rest of us.

  76. Kevin Cowling

    Your theroy about "balance of predators" keeping 50 Million + Bison from crapping in or next to rivers & streams is pretty funny. Or even that over grazing and streambed erosion didn't occur too. I still stand by my theroy about e coli has always been in the watershed. Do cattle cause these problems more than the bison heards? Probably. We've already removed the Bison, should we remove all the cattle? No, the balance would be still be broken. Should we continually improve range managment? Yes.

  77. Mark Bailey

    Marion Dickinson – I quit eating beef because I deplore public land grazing. Feel great. Saved money. Trimmed down. I recommend it.

  78. Ryan M Simmons

    Kevin Cowling the bison, predators and rivers did just fine without human 'management' or the introduction of non-native cattle. It's not my theory, it's simple ecology. Whatever e coli the bison, deer, elk or any other ungulate, predator, fish or whatever used to put into the water obviously wasn't threatening to human consumption as native humans did just fine drinking and washing from that water. It is also not my theory about the balance of predators which is playing out now, once again, with the introduction of wolves back into Yellowstone. Vegetation on riverbanks has returned, wildlife that feed on those plants is on the move and no longer overgrazing and there is some semblance of normalcy once again. The range doesn't need to be 'managed', it needs to be left alone.

  79. Chris Rosamond

    Marion Dickinson You may be unaware that fuel costs are one of the biggest increases in the cost of American agricultural products, across the board. Feed prices for cattle are particularly affected, due to the low feed to meat conversion ratio of beef, as compared to more efficient meat resources, like pretty much every possible type of animal based protein products except aquaculture caviar. You may also have missed the entire part of the Ag. Econ. picture where massive droughts in the western U.S. have caused many, many ranchers to send even their breeding stock off to slaughter. Got any more straw man argument to toss me so I can knock them right out of the park? Never show to start up an intellectual samurai sword fight with a dull butter knife for a cerebral cortex.

  80. Alex Russell

    Welfare ranchers crying about govmint

  81. Ted Chu

    Marion Dickinson I've yet to see a sheep camp with a toilet.

  82. Brent Bregman

    Western Watersheds Project are a pack of losers & I agree with Stacia, they are simply domestic terrorists. Americans are sick and tired of these nuts & they need to be charged and arrested.
    State & federal permits/leases/shares are OWNED: giving the lessees rights to the grass and water(not land ownership). This is for grazing for a specific numbers of animals, specific locations to be grazed and specific amount of time those areas can be grazed…usually 3 months, for which the lessees also pay a monthly fee per anum, per month, averaging $20 – $30.
    All of this is under the strict supervision of the BLM.
    A good majority of state & federal lands are surrounded by private deeded property that wackjobs like WWP have no right to trespass on. Period.

    I wonder why they haven't tried trespassing on any of Ted Turner's Ranches, to observe the conditions on the public lands he holds the leases for?
    He owns millions of acres of state & federal leases surrounded by his private property.
    What about the any of the Koch Brothers' or Stan Kroenke's Ranches? Same deal as Ted. Why not go after the "big fish", WWP?
    Seems the WWP cowards only want to bully & terrorize small family ranchers

  83. Brent Bregman

    This is what the WWP nutjobs are endorsing, the spread of invasive and noxious weeds on public lands in a deranged, ludicrious attempt to kill livestock.
    Only thing is, this moron forgets it puts all animals at risk, including native ungulates, deer, moose, elk, etc. & destroys the ecosystem. This is domestic terrorism, folks.
    This is what they do.
    A screen shot:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=490664311077053&set=a.139947972815357.41244.100004004664064&type=1&theater

    Or go to their facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Western-Watersheds-Project/187046332910

  84. Brent Bregman

    Mark Bailey lol. Consider moving to another country also, if you are so bigoted against hard-working tax-paying Americans.
    So you feel all warm and fuzzy because you don't eat beef? haha.
    Hate to burst your tiny self-absorbed bubble, but the demand for beef worldwide is only increasing since most of the world LOVES their steaks, hamburgers, etc. & LEATHER.
    The demand will never diminish, only increase.
    Since most ranchers in the West are also farmers, please also quit eating anything containing wheat, barley, oats, sugar, canola, potatoes, corn, soybeans, etc. Also boycott all dairy products, since we also grow alfalfa to feed not only our livestock, but Dairy cows.

    Here's more:
    http://factsaboutbeef.com/2013/12/19/theres-a-cow-in-my-marshmallow/

    Darn, I could go on all day & in order to avoid anything derived from livestock or produced by ranchers, guess you'll have to eat dirt and rocks….good luck!

  85. Brent Bregman

    Julie Long Gallegos an amateur actress from CA/expert on ranching in the West and water conservation…haha. Give me a break.
    A few questions:
    Exactly what is your background/experience in ranching, grazing livestock and rangeland water conservation?
    How many ranchers have you personally spoken to? Who? When? and Where, Gallegos?
    If not, then why are you so hateful and bigoted against a group of hardworking taxpaying Americans that feed the world & provide jobs, that you know nothing about? What are you doing to improve this country, except for making cheap jewelry for your snobby friends?
    Get a life.

  86. Brent Bregman

    Ryan M Simmons How many ranchers with grazing leases in the West have you spoken to? When & where?
    Ranchers actually put a lot of time and effort into land stewardship and water conservation. That is the reality and the truth.
    Try to rise about the propaganda of WWP and open your mind.
    If you are traipsing around on state land leased for grazing & notice problems, did you speak to the lease-holder or contact the BLM?
    Why are you on here complaining about something you obviously know nothing about? Quit being such an anti-American bigot & try to educate yourself.

  87. Brent Bregman

    Ryan M Simmons posted: "Cattle ranching is heavily taxpayer subsidized – welfare ranching if you will – through below market lease rates on our public lands, road maintenance, predator management, etc… which in turn keeps beef prices artificially low. Artificially low at the expense of the taxpayer. This has nothing to do with destroying 'people's way of life' so much as it has to do with propping up an outdated and costly industry for a handful of people at the expense of everyone else. Cattle are THE most destructive force on our public lands – far outweighing even that of fracking and oil production – yet all done at an economic loss.

    Wow, you are so bigoted, prejudiced and 100% ignorant about ranching.
    Pretty sad that some people stumble through life being so narrow-minded and clueless.
    FYI: Ranchers, who are also farmers, ARE tax-payers, a HUGE tax-paying base, that also provides 17% of this country's jobs and feeds ungrateful, hateful anti-Americans like you.
    We grow wheat, barley, corn, soybeans, sugar, canola, oats, potatoes, etc., so boycott all of that if you wish. The rest of the world doesn't care.

    Grazing leases/shares are costly and OWNED by leaseholders: the rights to water and grass, and under the supervision of the BLM. On top of that, lessees pay a costly average of $20-$30 per anum, per month.
    Ranchers are excellent stewards of the land they own leases/shares for & take very good care of it, despite WWP propaganda:, we pour money into water conservation, weed spraying, litter/trash removal from tourists like you, Simmons, etc.
    Why not start at the top go visit rancher,Ted Turner.
    We were just at one of his places, as a guest, a few months ago. He owns millions of acres of leases for federal/state land on his ranches.
    Whoops! Forgot: most of that is surrounded by private deeded ground, so you'll have to rent a helicopter & land by air. Maybe you can arrange a "field trip" with WWP. Just don't trespass, Turner has lots of "personnel", $$$ & good lawyers! lol

  88. Brent Bregman

    Stacia Corbett Citron you are correct: WWP "groupies" consist of brain-dead bigoted drones.
    WWP recruits their type because of they are weak, narrow-minded, gullible & are incapable of free-thinking or forming their own opinions.
    None have ever actually met any ranchers in the West. They are cowards & afraid of us…we are the 'boogeyman', lol

  89. Brent Bregman

    Stacia, we both know that ranchers are very active and hands on when it comes to water conservation and soil erosion.
    It is laughable that the WWP groupies try to unsuccessfully prove otherwise.
    I wish they would put as much effort into keeping the deer, predators, elk, antelope, & moose on that 'public land' and off of our private property alfalfa & grass fields that we irrigate.

  90. Brent Bregman

    Ryan M Simmons How many ranchers have you personally met that have had livestock killed or attacked by vermin wolves? I know many. We protect our animals from predators & I shoot every one I see. They are no better than rats or mice.
    Since you requested the link between eco-terrorists/animal rights nuts & Hitler & his Nazis; why, yes, not surprisingly, there IS a strong comparison:
    Striking similarities between the beliefs of the anti-human Nazis & the wolfnuts and wacko enviros of today.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_welfare_in_Nazi_Germany

    Hitler loved wolves, too:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf%27s_Lair

  91. Brent Bregman

    Julie Long Gallegos wolflovers>Nazis:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_rights_and_the_Holocaust

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf%27s_Lair
    "Wolfsschanze is derived from "Wolf", a self-adopted nickname of Hitler"

  92. Brent Bregman

    Ryan M Simmons "A dead and dying industry"?? Bwahahaha. Keep drinking the koolaid, pal.
    Demand for Beef and meat in general, is at an all time high, as are the prices. Americans & the world need to eat. That is more of a priority than fake endangered overpopulated wolves or more "wilderness". The population is growing and more "public land" needs to be opened for food production…especially for China. Get out of your cave once in awhile.

  93. Brent Bregman

    Ryan M Simmons what were the results of the water samples taken on Ted Turner's ranches, the Kroenke Ranches and the Koch brothers' ranches?
    They all own leases for several hundred million acres of what you refer to as "YOUR public land", so why aren't you concerned about that big piece of the pie?
    Maybe because you can't get permission to trespass on the private property they own that surrounds YOUR public land? Give it a try.

  94. Brent Bregman

    Stacia Corbett Citron here is an excellent expose article that Range magazine did on Western Watersheds Project and their former "leader": Marvel.
    What a bunch of low-lifes.
    http://www.rangemagazine.com/features/spring-13/range-sp13-simply-marvelous.pdf

  95. County 10

    Reminder of our comment guidelines: We welcome comments expressing all points of views on our posts–positive and negative–but reserve the right to remove posts that contain inappropriate language, links to items for sale, hate speech, personal attacks, threats, or are off-topic

  96. Ted Chu

    "..lessees also pay a monthly fee per anum, per month, averaging $20 – $30.." Do you have any documentation of that because the BLM website says they pay approx $1.35/ aum.

  97. Ryan M Simmons

    Brent Bregman, Bigot huh? You realize what that definition entails: a
    person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

    So technically you're a bigot for not being tolerant to my differing belief and opinion.
    Nice facebook profile btw. Hate much?

  98. Ted Chu

    Brent Bregman"…..expose…."? Of what? This Wild Life author was so desperate to prove how terrible WWP and it's supporters are he had to use quote from one of them on marriage legislation to even come up with a smear. Marriage legislation has what to do with range management?

  99. Ryan M Simmons

    Brent Bregman that's an odd thing to say seeing as how your profile is so anti-wolf. Last I checked, wolves were predators and WWP has engaged and is still engaged in plenty of campaigns to protect those wild animals and their habitat.
    You can try and skew this debate in your favor but history, economics and simple sociology are stacked heavily against you. This is simply Manifest Destiny playing itself out again – yet this time it's not white, Christian men throwing Native Americans off their land and decimating herds of buffalo and packs of wolves, mountain lions and fox to make room for their lazy, non-native, destructive cattle – it's conscious, aware and responsible humans of all nationalities who are sick and tired of the destruction you so called 'stewards of the land' have done to wildlife, wilderness and the environment in general.
    And don't try and play the predator card here – it's obvious from the posts on your profile that by doing so you're being nothing less than a hypocrite.

  100. Ted Chu

    Brent Bregman The irrationality of this post is astounding.

  101. Ryan M Simmons

    Brent Bregman, Godwin's law (or Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an Internet adage asserting that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1"]— that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism.

    And this is the important part:
    "While falling foul of Godwin's law tends to cause the individual making the comparison to lose his argument or credibility."

    In 2012, "Godwin's Law" became an entry in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.

    Nice one guy. Try again.

  102. Ryan M Simmons

    Obviously Mr. Bergman failed out of both the 'School of Hard Knocks and The University of Life' as well as our most basic public education system.

  103. Ted Chu

    Brent Bregman That's easily the most bigoted post on this string. You win that category.

  104. Ryan M Simmons

    Brent Bregman wow, anti-American, bigot and uneducated all in the same sentence… I posted up the definition of 'bigot' in response to one of your other posts. Before you use it in a sentence along with 'educate yourself' you may want to do just that – especially if you're calling into question anyone's differing opinion.
    And just to be fair, I'll 'try and rise (about?) the propaganda of WWP and open (my) mind' if you do the same about wolves and all that anti-wolf, right-wing hate spewed all over your facebook profile. Deal?

  105. Brent Bregman

    Ryan M Simmons lol! You need to try again.
    the links about Animal rights movement / Hitler / Nazi is from Wikipedia, the internet equivalent of an encyclopedia. Accurate and factual documentation.

    Here is also Wiki link for your "Godwin's Law", which is one man's hypothesis, that is open for debate…it is not actually a "law" lol:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

    This in not just a "wild card" to end an internet disagreement, as "Godwin's Law" states.. These are documented facts about the Nazi regime & although you may disagree, you cannot change history.

  106. Brent Bregman

    Ryan M Simmons Obviously you need to get out in the real world more often and out of Mommy's basement. ;)

  107. Ryan M Simmons

    Brent Bregman If you bothered to read what you actually linked you would have notice that I copied the definition of Godwin's Law posted in response above from the Wikipedia link you attempted to point out – which was already pointed out.

    And sorry guy. I know you're a huge wolf hater as is evident from your facebook profile. But if you're going to try and call me or anyone else a 'Nazi' or a bigot you have to look at those you follow with that movement. Animal rights folks don't run around the wilderness killing wolves while wearing Klansman hoods. No surprise, the movement you belong to has been featured a number of times by the SPLC and other hate watch groups.
    One such article from earlier this year: http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2014/03/25/long-running-conspiracist-fears-still-fuel-anti-wolf-sentiments-in-mountain-states/#disqus_thread

    Brent, a spade's a spade. You can try and call me and others here name after name but countering your argument and your name calling takes absolutely no effort.

  108. Ted Chu

    Brent Bregman "….and out of Mommy's basement." Really? Are we twelve?

  109. Ryan M Simmons

    Brent Bregman I never claimed any privately held land is 'my land.' I'm strictly speaking of land leased from the Federal and State government at welfare rates that come with taxpayer subsidized perks such as road maintenance, predator control, etc…

    Again, you can try and twist this and my words to suit your argument but you're not going anywhere except in a wide circle. I could care less what you think and I'm not here to be your friend. I'm 100% against cattle ranching of any form and 500% against welfare ranching on public lands.

  110. Ted Chu

    Brent Bregman To paraphrase from your post above "Bigotry is the state of mind of someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats or views other people with fear, distrust or hatred on the basis of a person's…… , or other characteristics." Based on your own definition under "other characteristics" when you posted "WWP "groupies" consist of brain-dead bigoted drones. WWP recruits their type because of they are weak, narrow-minded, gullible & are incapable of free-thinking or forming their own opinions. None have ever actually met any ranchers in the West. They are cowards & afraid of us…we are the 'boogeyman', lol" you were displaying your bigotry, and hatred, toward a group of people that I'm willing to bet you have never actually "taken the civil, logical & intelligent course of action: sitting down and interviewing the victims of their bigotry, American ranchers and farmers?" except in this case the "victims" would be the non-rancher American owners of these public lands whose taxes subsidize the harm caused to those lands by for profit private livestock grazing. Lastly I can assure you that the staff of WWP including their founder and former executive director Jon Marvel have spent countless hours out kicking cow pies on range tours with both ranchers and agency managers as have I.

  111. Ted Chu

    Brent Bregman Whoa, calm down Brent. "Kicking cow pies" was just an expression often used by both ranchers and non-ranchers to describe range tours because lot of "jawing' and kickin' cow pies" did occur on such tours. You would know that had you ever been on one. If you go to the BLM website you will find that the current lease rate is $1.35 per cow & calf everywhere on national public land. Don't take my word for it, educate yourself. And yes one of the problems in the past has been ranchers with public grazing permits sub-leasing their allotments for a profit as you describe thereby screwing the taxpayers doubly. Because of the ridiculously low grazing fee rate on public land, ranchers holding public land grazing permits receive an unfair competitive advantage over those private land ranchers and farmers you try to lump in with them. Public lands ranchers certainly are not one of the largest taxpayer bases in this country. In fact every public lands rancher you talk to will claim that he is either barely making a living or losing money. Add to that all the expenses he gets to deduct for fuel, equipment, etc. and that new King Ranch Ford (yeah I've never seen one in less than a fairly new Lariat) and either they aren't paying much in taxes or they are lying about going broke. Which is it Brent?

    Livestock taxes? What are they? Never heard of such a thing. Please advise, seriously I want to learn.

    Lastly they do not own grazing "rights" on public land. The courts have found time after time that they are "privileges" not rights. You'll notice that's how they are described on the BLM website when you go there to confirm the $1.35 AUM rate.

  112. Ryan M Simmons

    Brent Bregman you vainly attempted to call me a bigot at onset. If anyone is here making 'personality critiques' it's you and that is documented all over this page as well as your hypocrisy. If you are not a white American then you are extremely naive as the anti-wolf and hate propaganda you post all over your facebook page is perpetuated by those who have a blind hatred for anyone not white and Christian.
    Again, ranchers are not excellent stewards of the land. Never have been, never will be and this lawsuit as well as those in the past and all those slated for the future are testament to that fact.
    This livelihood you speak of means absolutely nothing if the land their working and the water they're drinking is polluted – you can ask the folks of Toledo, OH how that worked out for them.

  113. Ted Chu

    Brent Bregman I submit that someone who writes "…and out of mommy's basement." is the "(immature) fool" here.

  114. Ted Chu

    Brent BregmanMy apologies. I assumed you realized this whole discussion was about national public lands, not deeded lands, not state public lands. However thanks for pointing out how horribly underpriced the AUM's on national public land are as compared to what you yourself are willing to pay for private or state pasture. And talk about lazy! OK I'll do it for you. If you go to the BLM website as I've mentioned before you will find this under the heading of Grazing Fees. "The Federal grazing fee, which applies to Federal lands in 16 Western states on public lands managed by the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service, is adjusted annually and is calculated by using a formula originally set by Congress in the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978. Under this formula, as modified and extended by a presidential Executive Order issued in 1986, the grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM); also, any fee increase or decrease cannot exceed 25 percent of the previous year’s level. (An AUM is the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.) The grazing fee for 2014 is $1.35 per AUM, the same level as it was in 2013." So the total fee to graze a cow and 500lb calf on BLM and USFS land is $1.35/mo. Now you have no excuse for not knowing "the truth".

  115. Ted Chu

    Brent Bregman Brent I have lived in rural Utah, Idaho and Oregon all my life. I'm well aware of land ownership and no you are wrong, most national public land is accessible from a public road and you know it. If you don't you need to get out of your little world and take a drive say up into the national forest. Clearly no amount of evidence or facts will convince you that you are simply wrong about grazing fees on national public lands – BLM & USFS. Even most ranchers acknowledge that the fee is $1.35/aum. It is a fact. You can have your own opinion but not your own facts. Go to the BLM website and see for yourself.
    This is ridiculous. I give up trying to school you. Good grief….

  116. Ted Chu

    Brent Bregman "I have never heard of any rancher that grazes livestock on 100% public land, for 12 months out of the year. That is untrue and offensive." Did I say they did? Where? Now you're imagining things. I agree we are both wasting our time here.

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