Western Governors yesterday held a press conference to declare war on cheatgrass.
I can’t help but think back to an article on NewWest describing the importance of words when considering conservation politics – politics in general.
We’ve got a good idea how politicians in cowboy suits conduct their perpetual wars. Now it’s been declared in the West, on up to a million acres recently charred by fire – against an infliction of the range which follows the very ‘prescriptions’ that they call for. They’re chasing their tails, and in the process turning your public lands into their private pasture.
Whenever you hear the word “war” you can bet that there will be values which wouldn’t otherwise be compromised in pursuit of the endgame ~ if they’ve taken the time to draw up an endgame. It takes the focus off of conservation and makes the goal destruction.
It’s good for their private interest, but bad for our public interest.
While not an actual war, Westerners can expect to watch this unfold in a very similar fashion. They’ll call “cheatgrass” while lacing our West with non-native Crested/Siberian wheat grasses that they say prevent cheat and fire. But these grasses are more likely to deter wildlife than either fire or cheat.
The word “natives” will be tossed around and obfuscated to include cultivars which are more productive for more of their livestock ~ but are not native.
Here’s a webpage on westernwatersheds.org with video and pictures of fire rehab of the past in the Jarbidge.
The politicized opportunism of the tragedies of these fires is outrageous. They’re going for it :
It’s time for sagebrush patriots to rally against the land stealing rebels