Charred and scarred: Ranchers blame grazing rules for fire’s huge size

Charred and scarred. Ranchers blame grazing rules for fire’s huge size. By Matt Christensen. Times-News writer.

This story features none other than Idaho State House of Representatives Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, of whom KT has written.

Brackett is correct that the grazing rules led to the size of the fire, but in exactly the wrong way. The grazing rules have led to cheatgrass. The cheatgrass burns, killing the much less fire tolerant native grasses. Then the BLM reseeds with the wrong mixture of grass seed, such as non-native crested wheatgrass and various cultivars of native and non-native grasses. The the BLM doesn’t give time for even their poorly suited mixture to take hold before cows are dumped back on the grazing allotment. Of course, this leads to more cheatgrass.

Cheatgrass grows so fast and ripens so fast that no amount of livestock grazing can put a dent into it. Once the seed head develops, cattle and sheep won’t eat it unless they are to become dead livestock.

Therefore, it’s incorrect for Brackett to say there hasn’t there hasn’t been enough grazing unless he knows about voracious cows that will each thoroughly graze about a thousand acres of unripe cheatgrass a day (or cows that eat ripe cheatgrass!)

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Idaho declared brucellosis-free

The largely non-story (in Idaho) about Idaho losing its brucellosis free status has now ended. Idaho has been declared “brucellosis free” again.

Idaho cattle had been infected by Wyoming elk near the Wyoming border in, naturally, a winter elk feeding operation close to cattle.

Idaho media barely covered the story, and, of course, Wyoming the source of so many unsanitary elk feeding operations (with a few Idaho exceptions) were not fond of talking about it.

Montana news, however, for whom brucellosis seems so important, repeatedly pointed out the Idaho had lost its brucellosis free status.

Story in the Billings Gazette (Montana). Idaho declared brucellosis-free. By the Associated Press.

Increased humidity keeps Idaho fires from growing

A relatively new forest fire, Trapper Ridge, is pumping a lot of smoke into Stanley Basin.

There will be a big controversy over grazing when the Murphy Complex and other range fires are out. Burned areas should be rested a good while and seeded with native grass, forbs, and brush to reduce the liklihood of cheat grass spread and the fires next time.

Natives are also much better for wildlife. Cattle prefer them too, which is one reason they eat it to the ground when grazing is not managed well, renewing the abnormal fire to cheat grass, cheat grass to fire cycle.

Fire teams: S. Idaho blaze No. 1 priority, but cooler temps help. By JOHN MILLER – Associated Press Writer

Despite the cooler temperatures and higher humidity, the fire has grown to 623,000 acres.

Posted in Grazing and livestock, public lands management, wildfire, Wildfires, Wildlife Habitat. Comments Off on Increased humidity keeps Idaho fires from growing