Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bush pays ranchers; broke on desert fire control

TUCSON -- Bufflegrass, first brought to Arizona by ranchers, is a huge threat to the health of the Sonoran Desert.

Bufflegrass fuels unnatural desert fires which kill saguaros and wreck the Sonoran Desert web-of-life.

Scientists, Pima County, UA, conservation groups, and others are wise to identify the threat and start to do something about it.

But the Bush administration natural resource agencies are doing little to help. Managing bufflegrass needs a lot of resources, so the feds need to kick in some cash.

Hopefully if Congress changes hands Rep. Grijalva will be in a better position to direct fed funding toward bufflegrass control projects.

Maybe the money would be there if the Bush administration (BLM and Forest Service) wasn't subsidizing damaging public lands ranching at a loss of $150-500 million a year.

Ranchers brought the bufflegrass in, and continued desert ranching helps spread bufflegrass and other weeds. Roads, off-road vehicles, and urban sprawl also help spread weeds.

The feds must stop paying welfare to so many rich hobby ranchers, and start paying to manage bufflegrass to save the native Sonoran Desert we all love.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It turns out...Bufflegrass was not brought into Arizona by ranchers, we don't get enough water to make it viable as cattle feed, it was brought to Arizona as soil errosion control by companies like mines, and catterpillar, etc.
(I just spoke with travis Bean this I found interesting.)