Cattle vs. condos

The Monitor recently reported on Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt's proposal to raise public lands grazing fees. It turns out Babbitt's proposal will do just the opposite of what he says it will do.

For instance, he says his 130 percent increase in fees won't drive ranchers off the land. But it will so dramatically increase ranchers' costs of doing business that it won't be feasible to operate. The result - ranchers will be forced to sell off their private holdings to developers. The open space that has been maintained by ranching families for a hundred years or more will be filled with hotels, ranchettes, and condos.

Does anyone think that would be an environmentally friendly change? William G. Myers III, Washington National Cattlemen's Association

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