According to the Western Farm Press, “Congress could still complete work on a new farm bill in January if the Senate can quickly resolve its amendment issues when it returns from the Thanksgiving recess.” Read the article for the latest updates on what amendments are up for consideration.
Archive for November, 2007
Guest ranches are a popular business, particularly as agritourism thrives in the Rocky Mountain region. Check out this article in the NY Times, which accounts the experiences of Gene Kilgore, author of “Ranch Vacations,” with these guest ranches and how he finds the cowboy to be an inconic image of the United States.
Interested in investing in a guest ranch? Take a look at guest ranches, lodges and estates for sale.
Photo: Sleepy Cat Guest Ranch, a ranch for sale in Meeker, Colorado.
The popular Wyoming Cutt Slam progam has been active for awhile now. This program, which was orginally designed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to boost tourism and to create a greater appreciation for the department’s cutthroat management progam, offers a certificate for anglers who catch all 4 of the native cutthroat subspecies to Wyoming: the Colorado River cutthroat, the Yellowstone cutthroat, the Snake River cutthroat and the covetted and rare Bonneville cutthroat.
Read how this program is helping conservation efforts in the Cowboy state. To find out more on the Cutt Slam progam, check out the Wyoming Game and Fish website, the Cutt-Slam site, and/or the Wyoming Tourism site.
For Wyoming ranches for sale, click here.
In Wyoming, the Casper Star-Tribune is reporting today that three conservation groups are protesting the BLM lease sale of 244,000 acres in Carbon, Sweetwater, Uinta, Park and Big Horn counties.
And in Utah, “a new plan to manage public lands in six counties surrounding Richfield would open nearly all of the region to oil and gas drilling and off-highway vehicle-recreation use under a U.S. Bureau of Land Management proposal.” Click here to read the article in The Salt Lake Tribune.
All too often, hunters get a bad wrap from animal rights organizations and self-labeled animal lovers. However, most hunters are strong supporters of wildlife and habitat conservation.
According to the article, “Hunters for love of the land,” published in the November 2007 issue of National Geographic, “The great irony is that many species might not survive at all were it not for hunters trying to kill them… the nation’s 12.5 million hunters have become essential partners in wildlife management. They have paid more than 700 million dollars for duck stamps, which have added 5.2 million acres to the National Wildlife Refuge System since 1934, when the first stamps were issued. They pay millions of dollars for licenses, tags, and permits each year, which helps finance state game agencies. They contribute more than 250 million dollars annually in excise taxes on guns, ammunition, and other equipment, which largely pays for new public game lands. Hunters in the private sector also play a growing role in conserving wildlife.”
Many prominent landowners are conserving wildlife:
“Ted Turner, who is a hunter as well as a media pioneer, is also the country’s largest private landowner. He has worked tirelessly to restore the American bison through much of its range. Now he manages some two million acres (800,000 hectares) in the U.S. for biodiversity and for sustainable ranching, timbering, fishing—and hunting.
‘It starts with managing the land properly,’ said Turner, who allows paying visitors to hunt for quail, bison, elk, antelope, wild turkey, and other species on his properties. ‘You need good healthy land for good healthy animals. They need good water, good cover, and good food. If you’re missing any one of those three things, you won’t have animals. I maintain my ranches with wildlife being the top priority. I am trying to do the smart thing for the environment instead of the dumb thing. I want others to see what can be done with the land—even if they’re not billionaires.’”
Turner has even found a way to pay for the conservation on his land. Read the article to find out his strategy and to find out how other hunters are supporting the species they hunt and their wildlife habitats.
To find out more on how stewardship can enhance the wildlife life habitat (and thus the hunting opportunity) on your land, click here.
Photo: Upland bird habitat enhancement performed at Three Creeks Ranch, a ranch for sale in Buffalo, Wyoming.
Brent Warner, an agritourism specialist with the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, recently told a tourism conference in Grand Junction. “Agritourism is the fastest-growing tourism product in the world right now.”
According to an article in the Denver Post, “Colo. agritourism a win-wine situation,” Colorado is center stage. In fact, “23 percent of surveyed visitors to Colorado reported agritourism was a primary or secondary reason for their trip” last year. Visiting farms and ranches are the most popular agritourism activity here, although the interest in vineyards is growing on the Western Slope, making it almost as popular.
According to The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, “The quarterly Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sale set a state record Thursday, with one Garfield County parcel selling for $5.2 million, which resulted in an unprecedented price per acre.”
This shows a pattern of how the BLM and energy companies are focusing on proven oil and gas reserves and sometimes shying away from ecologically-sensitive, unproven areas. (See 10/31/07 posting on protests in Grand County that caused the BLM to remove more than 58,000 acres from its Nov. 8 oil and gas lease sale.)
In other related news, the Billings Gazette is reporting that “Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., on Thursday introduced long-anticipated legislation that would put 1.2 million acres of the Wyoming Range off limits to any new energy development and allow existing leases there to be retired.”
According to the Denver Post, ranchers are rushing to secure conservation easements to take full advantage of the tax incentives offered this year.
“Nationally, the total acres conserved by land trusts increased 54 percent to 37 million acres from 2000 to 2005, according to the 2005 National Land Trust Census Report, which is published every five years. ‘In Colorado, 1.2 million acres – or 1.5 percent – of the state’s 66.6 million acres are in conservation easements,’ said Jill Ozarski, executive director of the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts.”
To read the article, click here.
The U.S. military is needing more land to triple the size of its Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site, which could affect ranchers in southern Colorado.
“Several dozen ranchers and members of 15 county commissions that voted to oppose the project find themselves pitted against the Pentagon and Colorado business interests in a struggle over property rights, personal heritage and the contested priorities of national security.”
Read the article in the The Washington Post, “Colorado ranchers angry over army site expansion.”
Find out both sides of the Farm Bill, which is currently up for reauthorization in Congress. Debate is flying over crop subsidies, payment qualifications, conservation programs, food stamps and nutritional programs, and international food aid. Where do you stand?
Just this week, the Senate Agriculture Committee meet and voted for changes, which are detailed in this article from Reuters, “Food Stamps to get $1 billion more in farm bill.” The bill now awaits Senate debate.