17 May 2010, 11:13am
Latest Wildlife News
by admin

Cattle ranchers again must cope with limited grazing

by Scott Sandsberry, Yakima Herald-Republic, May 16, 2010 [here]

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — For the second straight year, the state has withdrawn its livestock grazing plans on state wildlife lands in eastern Kittitas County.

Facing the loss of its sole range ecologist and ongoing litigation from Western Watersheds Project, an Idaho-based conservation group, the state says there will be no cattle grazing this year on the Whisky Dick and Quilomene wildlife areas.

Opponents of the grazing plan, the primary issue being the use of state wildlife lands for livestock, celebrated the state’s decision. But Kittitas cattle rancher Russ Stingley must continue to graze his cattle on already well-thinned pastures. His only alternative is to sell some of his livestock.

“We’ll possibly have to sell off some cattle — probably 100 or so if we can’t find a home for them,” said Stingley, who has about 500 head. “Depends on if this is a drought year — if they shut off our (irrigation) water earlier than usual, we won’t have much choice.”

Stingley’s grazing permit on the Whisky Dick and Quilomene, part of a regional, multi-partner conservation plan, has been off-again, on-again. … [more]



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