.....A view from "down the lane" ....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

California's hills and forests are where are the cows???

FIRE!! FIRE!!! There were preventative measures that could have been taken, used to be taken, that could have helped stem the fire danger this summer.

Cows could help prevent forest fires......grazing is a SOUND environmental management tool.

As to land as resource that could be BETTER utilized, especially on this HUNGRY PLANET, is the issue of rangeland.

More than 1.1 billion acres are listed as grazing land, roughly one half of the entire area of the U.S. Out of that 787 million acres are considered rangelands (and 82% of these rangelands are located in the 17 western states); 131 million acres are pasturelands; 157 million are grazed forest lands and 64 millions acres are croplands. More than 85% of all grazing lands are not suited for crop production, according to the USDA.

Grazing rangelands is an environmentally SOUND management tool; it converts dry matter, that could be called FIRE HAZARDS, into a food source; ruminants can convert the roughage easily into muscle/meat. According to one Oregon range manager, "Without controlled grazing, the forage on public lands will become wolfy (Not succulent), [and] big game will move to private lands." Moreover, grazing protects the environment by "building soils, protecting water and riparian areas, and enhancing habitat."

Cattle, or bovine, are ruminants, with four stomachs (like the bison/buffalo), thus they have the ability to convert forage and roughage, including discarded agricultural byproducts (eg: almond hulls, potato remnants, sugar beet pulp, corn stalks, grain screenings, oil seed residues, brewers’ grain and millers’ residues), then convert them into human food. They can use wheat and other grains that have been discarded because of early sprouting or adverse weather conditions.

They can also take dry matter in rangelands or on hillsides that are actually FIRE HAZARDS and convert them into muscle/meat. Grass-fed cattle live in regions NOT conducive to crop production, whether because of elevation, water-accessiblity, or climate/topography. In fact, of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the total U.S., about 470 million are listed as cropland; approximately 19% of that is used for feed grain production, thus there is NO LARGE DISPLACEMENT of acreage from production of human food into production of feed fo animals. More than 85% of all grazing lands in the U.S. are actually not suited to crop cultivation. Rather than consuming HUMAN food stuffs, almost 85% of the nutrients they consume comes from unusable sources or from areas not suitable for farming.

Note: Their hooves act to stir the soil, move and transplant grass seed. They do not overgraze, by nature; they roam naturally and continually. They are also creatures of habit, crossing streams in a line, not damaging the banks like many people assume. MOREOVER, according to recent studies, GRASS-FED BEEF ARE BELIEVED TO HELP REVERSE THE GREEHNOUSE EFFECTS. Pastures and grasslands store carbon, vs. releasing it into the atmosphere!

Unbelievably, in Canada, ranchers and farmers are PAID to take cattle, sheep, and goats into the mountains to help protect from major wildfires. Do they know something we don't?

Wouldn’t that be a great PROTECTION tool for OUR mountain and hill regions?????

Someone, call the FIRE DEPARTMENT!! California is burning and there are preventative measures we could take to help offset the dry/brittle grasslands that are now being devoured and destroyed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Looking for NATURAL FIRE RETARDANTS??? Mooooooo....

That's right! COWS are great, natural recyclers and fire-fighters! Too bad they've been pushed OUT of the hills and rangelands where they might have HELPED California fight fire!!! That's right.........

Most Americans just didn't know that:
Cattle are sometimes found ranging in the hills and mountains. WANT TO SEE SOME NATURAL FIRE RETARDANTS AT WORK????? CHECK OUT WHERE CATTLE ROAM.....Contrary to the MYTHS about cattle, where cattle are found in the mountains, the meadows are green and lush, the dry matter that burns so easily, is reduced drastically.

Cattle enhance the environment by recycling, fighting fires and reducing erosion. Cattle also enhance the environment by grazing areas that are not suitable for building houses, or growing food crops. This adds up to about 1.2 billion acres (one-half the size of the United States, excluding Hawaii and Alaska). While grazing, cattle even work to REDUCE erosion and improve the grass. They aerate the soil with their hooves, allowing oxygen, water and other nutrients to enter the ground more easily, just like bison a hundred + years ago.

They also push needed seed into the ground and provide a natural fertilizer. Cattle serve as Natural and responsible and EFFECTIVE fire-fighters; their grazing helps prevent the spread of wildfires by reducing the length of grass. Plus, did you know the components from their blood are utilized to MANUFACTURE fire retardants, as well?????

Indeed, in Canada, farmers and ranchers are PAID to take cows, sheep, even goats into the mountains to graze so that they can reduce the dry, brittle matter that is easily burned. They keep the mountains lush, and because over-grazing is not allowed, they can be a TOOL of farmers and foresters.

Where are the cows now, though???? They've been kicked out of most hills and ranges where they once roamed or grazed. And in years like 2008, where everything is DRY, how wonderful it WOULD HAVE BEEN to have had the cows grazing earlier in the spring, thereby reducing tremendously the thousands and thousands of acres of land. TOO BAD, isn't it? Instead of using cows to help us out, the Forest Service and the Sierra Club and every other extreme environmental group, has THROWN cows out of the hills and have left the forests and hillsides RIPE for MAJOR fire!!!

Cattle are some of our BEST recyclers. They not only digest cellulose which is indigestible by humans, but they also eat non-edible by-products of food production such as potato skins, fruit pits, almond hulls and sugar beet pulp. This helps greatly reduce the amount of waste that goes into our nation’s landfills.

COWS ARE AMAZING ANIMALS and the Bad PRESS they've gotten in the last 5 years is a terrible and ridiculous mythology. There were once more than 65 MILLION bison that roamed the Great Plains. Cows are in the same family of animals and work in CONCERT with the environment. Where damage has been done 50 or more years ago, there has been tremendous recovery. RANCHERS and FARMERS love their animals and also love the environment where they live.