Not All Ranchers Live High on the Hog

Congratulations on the balanced front-page article "Babbitt Wades Into the Debate on Western Land," May 4. However, the reference to the General Accounting Office report on the 500 largest holders of grazing permits may lead to unfounded conclusions. About a year ago a similar GAO report surfaced. The report was released with a flurry of press coverage to create fervor and raise the grazing fee. A spot check of the "Big 500" revealed that many of the listed ranches were exaggerated in size by as much as 600 percent. One of those tycoons lives in my home town. He supplements his ranch income with a job as a lineman for a rural telephone co-op.

The reports make much of the fact that large, wealthy insurance companies own a number of ranches that utilize federal grazing, suggesting that greedy corporations have undue access to a perceived competitive advantage. Yet if those ranches owned by insurance companies were such gold mines, they wouldn't have been repossessed, nor would they be for sale for 60 cents to 70 cents on the dollar.

Those reports are just two of a long list that further confuse this issue at the taxpayer's expense. Shirley P. Baumgartner, Glasgow, Mont. Finding politically correct wood

In the article "Beyond the Forest Summit," April 22, the author refers to the Forest Stewardship Council as an organization that will certify forest products. The Forest Stewardship Council itself will not directly certify forest products. Rather, the FSC is an international, independent, nonprofit organization that seeks to accredit certifiers, based on economically viable and environmentally sound forest management practices. Jamison Ervin, Burlington, Vt. Coordinator, Forest Stewardship Council

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK