Can we turn cowboys into rangers for our public lands?

The fight this year in the Idaho Legislature over bighorn sheep demonstrated to me that Idaho and the West need a new vision for the future of public lands ranching in the state.

This session returned ranchers and lawmakers to “ghost-dancing,” a term I first heard from Luther Probst, of the Sonoran Institute in the early 1990s. It’s a play on the ghost dancing society among Indians in the late 1900s, which said that ghost dancing would make Indians invincible and drive the white men away.

Modern rancher ghost dancers think they can pass state laws and drive the environmentalists away. No need to change is necessary.

I have now covered the issue for a generation. I knew the old bulls who had the power to ignore the rising concerns over water quality and fish and wildlife habitat. I watched their sons and daughters take over amidst growing uncertainty over environmental regulation at the same time consolidation of beef and lamb markets reduced their economic options.

Some of them have adjusted very successfully, working collaboratively with environmentalists and others to meet the water and wildlife concerns. Still others have found ways to add value to their products by exploiting the growing “buy local” movement or green marketing their shifting practices like selling “predatory friendly wool.”

Still others added value to their operations by diversifying into dude ranching operations or selling access for hunters, anglers, hikers horsemen and cross country skiers. And others have loped off pieces of their land for real estate development, a practice most ranchers themselves consider an objectionable last resort.

The Western Watersheds Project and some other environmental groups’ vision for the future of public lands ranching is that it will end. They see few redeeming characteristics and believe eventually economics will solve their problem.

But ranchers have the continuing cultural ties that Americans have to cowboys working on their side. When public lands ranching opponents seek to kill the cowboy so to speak, they find a lot of push back, especially in western states among people who may never have even been on a ranch.

I visited a couple of weeks ago with the Idaho Conservation League’s Linn Kincannon, who has working public land grazing issues since the 1980s. She told me a supporter of the Idaho Conservation League proposed a new idea to keep ranchers riding the range - with a new mission.

Today, ranchers lease public lands, called allotments, for a small monthly fee and graze their sheep and cows on allotments across the west, she said.

“Ranchers often know every inch of their allotments and spend more time on them than the public or land managers do.,” Kincannon said. “Most have a love of the land they graze and value the freedom to roam.”

But after more than 100 years of grazing, many national forests and public lands have lost native plants that feed wildlife, streams have lost trees and bushes that shade the water for fish, and water quality has declined, she said. The supporter told her of a plan to improve conditions for the future, but keep ranchers in place to make the politics of change a little easier.

Instead of using the land for grazing, livestock would be removed and ranchers paid to restore lost values. Experts at the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management would help, and the rancher would retain the allotment, Kincannon explained.

The agencies would save money since they would no longer be planning and doing the environmental analysis for livestock grazing on the allotment. That money could be paid to the ranchers instead, to free them from uncertain weather and cattle markets.

Kincannon’s supporter’s idea is novel but I know that most ranchers would reject it outright. I doubt many would be willing to give up their herds though I’m sure they might be willing to dramatically reduce their grazing on public land if the incentives are good enough.

The fact is the ranch manager is already replacing the family rancher as the manager of hundreds of thousands of acres of ranchlands across the West already. Their absentee owners already want them to protect the blue ribbon trout streams that run through their private lands and the wildlife habitat that makes their ranch attractive.

Public land managers and policymakers can devise a new model for grazing allotments that would pay ranchers for essentially becoming rangers who patrol these lands and who create ecological services like land restoration and water quality improvement. I first heard this idea from Karl Hess Jr., a New Mexican who sought market solutions to environmental problems.

This approach wouldn’t have to mean removing cattle or even sheep.

In some areas grazing itself can provide ecological services by controlling invasive species and reducing fuels in heavily degraded areas that carry wildfires into important sagebrush steppe habitat.

What I like about the idea Kincannon brought me is that it doesn’t seek to eliminate or denigrate the ranching culture and lifestyle, only to modify it for a new age. This is a good time for ranchers and others to begin having this discussion built on the collaborative efforts that are growing up across the West.

"In some areas grazing

"In some areas grazing itself can provide ecological services by controlling invasive species and reducing fuels in heavily degraded areas that carry wildfires into important sagebrush steppe habitat."

What? Grazing actually increases invasive species which, in themselves, increase fine fuel loads which drive fires. The best example of this is cheatgrass. Livestock grazing makes it worse.

Idaho lands cannot possibly benefit from cattle grazing. The plants and ecosystems didn't evolve with the presence of large ungulates in the numbers that they are forced to sustain and they cannot recover without removal of livestock. End of story.

So all thinking ends with ideology?

High Country News this week has a very good story that shows how grazing is helping to protect an endangered butterfly.

LA Times has a good story

LA Times has a good story about how dust from cattle grazing and ORV abuse is causing snow in the Rockies to melt a month early.,0,1077488.story

LA Times stories

The LA Times often has good stories, and sometimes they use facts.

I'm pretty sure this isn't one of those times. Cause and effect can be a tricky thing to prove, and my guess is that haven't even come close. Again this time.

You mean snow melts for other reasons than GW?

Truth is hard to come by


I don't think I can copyright that though.

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.

i disagree, science is not ideology

buffaloed just mentioned that cattle did not evolve in arid to semi-arid systems. that's a scientific fact - it's not fair to characterize as ideology, and to be honest - i read your publication often and admire your contribution to the public discourse, but it really seems like a lot of your narrative is grasping at normative solutions ("straws" it turns out in this case) - which may or may not be alright - but your coverage seeks out "collaborative" ways of working issues out that seek to avoid contention more than employ viability - and that this slant prevails whether or not it results in meaningful advances for wildlife or our western natural heritage. It's as if how the people feel at the end of the day is more important than the impact it will have. Our children will not care whether or not enviros & ranchers played nice - they will judge us by what they were left and by what we deprived them. i think we can all agree that this fantasy world would be a wonderful way of doing things - but surely Rocky, you understand - it is just that - fantasy. but this want is more characteristic of ideology itself than the scientific fact that nothing like cattle (behaviorally) evolved with the other members these systems/ecological communities.

We can always point to individual attributes that are impacted in different ways - some are benefited by impact - gophers, for example, move into compacted soils and aerate them (but so many plants can't grow, and soil is lost) - their populations increase, predators benefit from the tall perches of fences and the ability to see prey more readily (but other birds - sage grouse - and other wildlife - pygmy rabbits - did not evolve behavioral characteristics to evade & compete - especially when the grass that used to hide them is removed). i've even heard of folk claiming that fisheries are benefited by cattle --- apparently, it was claimed - the flies feed the fish... cheatgrass benefits from cattle, sage-brush benefits from juniper burning. but to cite this butterfly and cattle's effect and then to project that onto whether or not cattle-ranching on these arid to semi-arid systems represents a viable conservation benefit is not honest - and, dare I say, IMO - generally characteristic of the loss of integrity of the HCN board.

Fact: Livestock grazing is the largest contributor to species imperilment in the west (nearly mining & logging combined).
Fact: Livestock grazing is the largest contributor to landscape desertification in the west (particularly important stressor that will increasingly compound water-conflict issues & the looming impacts of climate change).
Fact: Livestock grazing, and associated activities, are the largest contributor to the spread of invasive weeds in the west (see: rapid and pervasive degradation of wildlife habitat).
Fact: Livestock grazing is the largest contributor to non-point source water pollution in the west (and non-point source pollution is by far the largest input of pollution).

These facts were not compiled by buffaloed, or anyone like buffaloed, these are the findings of BLM & its scientists itself (Rangeland Reform '94) - by no measure antagonists of the livestock industry.

I believe that for HCN to spotlight this butterfly in light of all of these other far more implicating and prescient facts, that rarely muster a peep from mainstream media, is intellectually dishonest. The resiliency of the landscape itself, the diverse and collectively important relationships that characterize our western environmental heritage - water, diverse wildlife, complex vegetation communities, etc. these are the things to judge an activities contribution to the landscape - and its potential to "benefit" such by. Every once in awhile, there is a species that depends on such complexity - enough so to generalize its well-being as indicative of the general well-being of the system itself --- take the sage grouse, that at different stages of its life, depends on enough diverse/different system attributes to make such an assessment more legitimate. That's not the case with the butterfly.

Propping up the butterfly as indicative of anything other than that livestock's impact creates conditions that disproportionately benefit this particular species --- without mentioning whether those conditions similarly degrade other wildlife habitat or how they impact that ecological community - is more characteristic of the widespread Livestock-apologist "ideology" that characterizes western media coverage, government, and other western establishment norms than pointing to science. The knee-jerk reaction to condemn this scientific fact as "ideology" is troubling - I wish I could say it was surprising - but the truth is, this cultural ideology is pervasive, subscribing to it makes science - object fact itself - seem threatening (it is - but that ought not be confused with "ideology" - as it has been here) - the want to reach for anecdotes that deny this industry's impact is alluring - it makes for a more comfy nest all around.

I look forward to your phone call Rocky.

that grazing cause weeds and fires is not ideology, only ecology

Are you claiming that the idea livestock grazing directly causes increased invasive weeds and wildfires is an ideology? If collaboration is your goal then calling informed and rational thinking that addresses the core of the issue an ideology is not helping at all.

That grazing is the cause of weeds and degradation is just basic ecology and natural history. The sage brush steppe, prior to grazing, was relatively fire free because the native plant assemblage and structure did not encourage rapid spreading rather fires remained localized. It is well documented that invasive cheatgrass from the livestock industry is a primary cause of the habitat loss and fuel loading since the 1800's. The problem is so bad that the Utah Department of AG has declared a $2 million "war on cheatgrass".

While your articles often are well researched you can not deny the HCN article you cite is cherry picked to make your point. It focuses on a specific and unique circumstance in California unavailable in Idaho. I mean for goodness sakes the article describes cows as: "There they are, the keystone herbivores!" shouts conservation biologist Stuart Weiss." The article describes a landscape where weeds so dominate the flora and cows are the only remaining herbivore that of course grazing is required. Is that kind of landscape your goal for Idaho?

The Wildlife Conservation Society is studying the difference between protected Idaho National Lab and other Idaho public lands but already has determined that "Overgrazing on the INL and adjacent public and private lands, is promoting invasion by exotic plants (e.g., cheatgrass) which, in turn, promote more frequent fires that overtime prevent native vegetation from regenerating."

And while local land managers, district offices, heavily subsidized ranchers, and accolade seeking collaborators hem and haw and try to make sure that changing the status quo doesn't cost anyone any privileges other public interest groups use the courts to enforce the government's existing legal duties and protect the unaccounted for public values being traded to fatten a few thirsty cows. Name an important collaborative effort you have reported on that did not grow out of legal and scientific pressure applied by able, intelligent, and dedicated public advocates.

double entry error, sorry

double entry error, sorry

"Some areas" w/some comments

Although I can't personally stand the phrase "ecological services," the statement is generally true (depending on how ecological services is defined, of course).

Invasive species do not have to be exotics. Douglas-fir and juniper have invaded millions of acres of grasslands since white settlement, for example.

Grazing, tromping cattle tend to keep these invasions to a minimum, or at least under control to a degree. Wildfires with lesser fuel loads tend to be less destructive and somewhat easier to control. Those are generally regarded as "benefits" -- at least to us cheeseburger eaters, they are.

Now . . . how "important" are those "sagebrush steppe habitats," anyway -- according to who -- and what do you mean by "recover"; and why is THAT important? (Those are rhetorical questions, of course.)

End of comment.

Rhetorical because you have no interest in facts only fringe ide

Rhetorical because you have no interest in facts only fringe ideology. Public land grazing represents a dictatorship pure and simple. The BLM and Forest Service redistribute taxes from the public to subsidize a small group of people who engage in a destructive and uneconomic practice then contort all science and policy to insulate this privileged class. Meanwhile the public gets weeds, ruined streams, extinct native species, polluting methane, and chomped off wildflowers. The public doesn't even get any beef from the deal as the entire western livestock industry accounts for 1% of the supply.

You cannot seriously believe that grazing controls invasive weeds? Grazing, by disturbing soils using nonnative feed and rotational herds, is the single biggest pathway for invasive to take hold and spread. Invasive weeds are the primary fuel the of catastrophic fires that benefit nothing.

See: Steven R. Radosevich, Jodie S. Holt, Claudio Ghersa "Ecology of weeds and invasive plants: relationship to agriculture and natural resource management" pages 28 - 30 (describing the rarity of fire in the sagebrush steppe habitat prior to grazing and resulting invasion of weeds and fires following the first cattle)

Besides any supposed benefit must be weighed against the costs. According to the Government Accountability Office 2006 report on livestock grazing:
"In fiscal year 2004 federal agencies, both those that have grazing programs and those that have activities to support grazing programs spent a total of at least $144 million."

And: "The grazing permits and leases the 10 federal agencies manage generated a total of about $21 million from fees charged in fiscal year 2004--or less than one-sixth of the expenditures to manage grazing." at pages 5 - 6.

You bum! You cut-and-pasted so hard you changed the page fonts!

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.

grazing/trampling cattle increase fire - not decrease it

grazing the finer native vegetation that carried less intense fires is one of the reasons we see conifer expansion in many communities. cattle selectively forage on these finer forbs and grasses, which benefitted some conifer/more-arid species livestock were less apt to graze. it also dries out the micro-climates. biological soil crusts and native vegetation communities shade, mulch, and otherwise keep moisture in a site longer into the season - when it's grazed, the crusts get trampled and are significantly reduced (the plant productivity diminishes - it's been "utilized" by livestock or otherwise precluded by compacted soils and dried out sites - plants are what pump carbohydrates/nutrient into the soil that fungus, bacteria, and other microbiotic communities feed themselves with - *did you know plants can pump more carbs into the soil then they themselves use ?*) and , plants that would otherwise compete with conifers - providing for a more complex habitat structure (which is associated with slower expanding fire via less contiguity of "fuel" and more likelihood that they fizzle out, are absent. the vegetation communities that remain are not the same - the understory is largely gone, it doesn't have the lush, wetter species persisting because they rely on soil crusts (mulch soil, loosens soil which helps expand roots through the profile), relatively loose soil (which gets trampled and washed away without vegetation to stabilize), and eachother to hold the snow (and any precip event) longer into what is otherwise a dry season, this opens a broader window for ignition - and that combined with wind carries through the understory much more (wind dries stuff too), conditions that contribute to bigger, more hotter fire.

it's dynamic - dynamic, complex interactions and habitats promote diversity. Livestock diminish diversity - grazing simplifies habitat. Much of the landscape that we look at today is remarkably different than it once was, the change was more gradual, it continues to take place over generational time-frames - so it's not as easy for a lay-person to notice as, say, a clearcut. That simplification contributes, in most circumstances, to positive feedback conditions that disproportionately continue to benefit those particular species. That's why we see conifer stands as such in some places (which there is actually legitimate debate about where that line resides, agency isn't just managing for anthropogenic expansion - they're taking it beyond that - all the time we see agency claiming juniper expansions and the need to clear them - then we visit the site and and count the tree-rings of the stumps left behind at several hundred or more --- it was an old-growth stand that just got logged to dirt under the guise of "thinning & cleaning").

on a landscape scale, we also see riparian-associated tree communities largely diminished on huge scales across the west. Aspen is a big example. Livestock pound the aspen stand, wallowing in the shade and relative moist conditions characteristic of a clone, everything underneath is wiped away. The same is true with willows, though there are other Livestock-related reasons as well - such as down-cutting of streams and hummucking of flood-plain (dry, dry, dry) - and, of course, lush vegetation communities directly "utilized" by cattle. Without as much aspen and willow, beavers leave the site --- that is, if the rancher didn't shoot the beavers for "flooding the feed" first. without beaver dams to pond and push back the water into the plain, the whole site dries up and even less aspen and willow persist, and other associated species diminish (positive feedback). Then, streams, creeks, and riparian vegetation communities which hold moisture no longer serve as the natural fire breaks that historically restricted a fire's reach across the landscape. Instead, with cattle, we have drier species encroaching what used to be riparian habitat and fires are more easily "wicked" across stream-channels.

the list goes on and on...

Butch doesn't need another job.

Beethoven was deaf when he wrote his Ninth Symphony. Rush Limbaugh is profoundly hard of hearing.

Millions of people like Beethoven.

And you have a good job flagging.

Beethoven was deaf when he wrote his Ninth Symphony. Rush Limbaugh is profoundly hard of hearing.

Millions of people like Beethoven.

Good idea, except I'm out on

Good idea, except I'm out on public lands 100+ days per year, and have yet to see a rancher "working." Their cattle wallow in streams, tromping and polluting water, eating the native vegetation and leave little for wildlife, and spreading invasive weeds like cheatgrass and thistle. It would certainly help conditions if some cowboys would show up and move these cattle around, instead of letting them camp out in sensitive areas.

But I'd favor hiring a corps of folks who would actually work (maybe some ranchers would) removing the thousands of miles of barbed wire that's harmful to wildlife, dismantling the decrepit trough/water developments ruining springs that infest our public lands, restoring streambanks and planting native vegetation, etc.

Domestic livestock have not been on western lands that long in the grand scheme of things (think thousands of years of native American history before Euros arrived), and the arid west simply cannot sustain commercial livestock production much longer. Time to have the final round-up.

Home on the range

When I think of the grand scheme of things, (thousands of years of native Americans) I think of the historical massive herds of bison roaming what is now our public lands.

Massive herds of giant bison, wallowing in streams, tromping and polluting (mudding) the water, eating the native vegetation and leaving little for other wildlife. THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of them going through a valley and just pounding the ecosystem!
Ahh,,, those were the good ole days!

i agree

ranchers generally do not work the land --- they hire others (and mostly don't even bother at that).

"Columbus" style public land "stewardship" --- turn out the cattle in the spring, "discover" them in the fall ... any missing ? blame it on the wolves ...

that's so simplistic H-bombs are playtoys...don't be silly.

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.

Bison were (are) quite a bit

Bison were (are) quite a bit different from cattle, guess you need to do some research. Bison didn't evolve in the moist Euro-Asian steppes as did cattle, so bison don't just hang out in riparian areas like cattle do. Bison use the drier uplands willingly.

Also, bison are not as lazy as cattle and frequently move, unlike the herds of cattle that like to lounge in one place unless forcibly cowpoked along.

Further, most bison were on the Great Plains, not in the arid Intermountain West. Much of Idaho and the rest of the Northwest did not have huge herds of bison even before Euros arrived. (Early explorers did note sizeable herds of bison on the Snake River Plain)

But I'm all for replacing cattle on our public lands where suitable with bison, which are a lot more adapted to our harsh dry climate and aren't nearly as destructive to streams and native plants.

Hunting bison on public lands could produce a new source of revenue for the state, and also give folks a good source of wild protein, instead of the fatty meat from cattle finished on feedlots, which is where most of the cattle that graze on public lands end up.

Ranchers won't raise Bison if there is no market

You can't just declare that Bison are better and force everyone to eat them and force ranchers to raise them. This is America, and as much as you libs hate this, not a dictatorship.

There is a market for Bison, but it's small compared to the market for beef. This is slowly changing, and if you can cause liberals to feel guilty about eating beef, and good about eating Bison you would have quite a market. Maybe someone should write a compelling book and do a couple of rounds on Good Morning American and Oprah.

Truth is hard to come by

ranchers should not raise bison

bison should roam free ... bison confined/congregated within fences, such as is the practice of public land livestock grazing, mitigates the relevant difference in behavior between the two (one generally roams, the other generally wallows) that is the biggest reason for the disparity in impact.

Not only should bison run free

Not only should bison run free, but the white man should not be allowed west of the Mississippi.
You idiots should argue with the facts of today. Bison no longer roam free, free grazers get access to the back country, and automobiles now exist. Deal with it. Or move back to Cali...your choice.

You love bison gizzards, don't you?

Mary Lee, we troll along

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.

Please try harder to learn the truth

PJ, throwing out the word "libs" as a derogatory term just makes you sound childish. Also, no one is trying to "force everyone to eat" buffalo. We might listen to you if you dropped the incendiary language and actually stayed on topic instead of simply writing your boiler plate rants. Democracy relies on reasonable, informed people not vitriol spewing ideologues.

It's only his obsessive flame for PJ that keeps CWW alive.

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.

Oh don't lie to everyone Otto

Your fondest wet dream is for someone with your ideology to be a dictator. Dissent just big the hell out you.

Secondly, quite frankly I am offended. There is nothing boiler plate about my rants. And if democracy depends on informed people, you should exit the conversation. As for staying on topic, when did I stray?

Truth is hard to come by

your stray

The conversation was about buffaloes and you wrote "This is America, and as much as you libs hate this, not a dictatorship." No one was talking about dictators or hating the government until you joined. Labeling "libs" as hating America is boiler plate fanatic ideology, uniformed, and offensive.

Good point, Bison and cattle are tottally different

As you correctly explain bison and cattle have entirely different evolutionary and behavioral characteristics. Maybe bison can provide a transition from cattle to ween ranchers off the public trough.

Keep up the thoughtful posts and don't be discouraged by the ideologues.

We aren't idealogues! I reach for Tuck's out of habit with you.

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.

I have three generation of cattle and dairy ranchers to differ.

Don't ever grab the ABS guy's container thinking there's POP in it.

no, wait...THERE IS

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.

Bison used water & other "facts"

The remarks comparing water degradation between bison and cattle are speculative and erroneous.

Bison did move, and in the thousands at a time. Talk about your ORV dust!

And those big mammals ate a lot of food and drank a lot of water. And wallowed in it, which is where the term "buffalo wallows" came from.

You just can't make things up just because you think you're an environmentalist. Well, actually you can (Gore,et al.), but there comes a time when you will be outed by "facts."

Trust me. It's better to keep your thoughts to yourself and thought a fool, than to submit an ignorant post to Rocky's blog and have it documented.


bison moved - and the soils (topsoil) that characterized the landscape at that time were much more rich in organic matter. There was certainly dust, but much less than takes place as a consequence of today's relatively sterile soils. Livestock have been over-utilizing grasses for decades - much more impact that bison - over a hundred years - that has removed significant biomass that would otherwise stabilize and be cycled back into the soil buffering dust...

Dust to Dust

Well, that's certainly some interesting speculation! In particular, I enjoyed your claim that:

"There was certainly dust, but much less than takes place as a consequence of today's relatively sterile soils."

Are you saying there is more dust today than in the 1930s Dust Bowl because of cattle grazing over the last 80 years? Or simply that you have good data regarding relative amounts of dust created by bison as compared to now?

Or are your claims mostly a bunch of wishful thinking bison dung?

Not sure where you're getting your data, but since you're dealing with such certainty, it might be good to cite your sources.

(Rocky: Are you using "Brian Ertz" as a pseudonym? My response definitely has the feeling of having been written before, in regards to other topics based on similar types of claims.)


Bob, where do these guys come from? Are they truly this ignorant, or do they just enjoy playing the devil's advocate? Perhaps that should read devil's ignoramus???

Rocky's spawn

Well, the clearly come from The City. Most likely a city located in Cali . . . some State other than Idaho.

That's a pretty easy call, based from my exposure to these types in the days of old-growth, spotted owls, smoke, and herbicides. I used to attend their public meetings regularly, and when the meeting was opened up to questions from the audience, I would always ask these experts: "What city were you raised in?" That always got angry murmurs and threatening glances, and they were always raised in a city south of the PNW, or east of the Mississippi. Every time.

My other guess is that Rocky pays them to participate, or is simply using pseudonyms, so the rest of us will keep involved and help keep him informed. Otherwise, he seems to tend to get lazy with his "research" and his thinking.

If ignorance is truly bliss, these sure have to be a lot of happy fellas, though.

you got me, i'm really rocky

"speculation" ha ! I like that ...

Define 'organic'. If you rot, are you?

You brainiac guerrilas act like everything falls from outer space. Your notions of natural and unnatural defy logic and deny the very god you praise. After all, god made EVERYTHING and 99% of it is trapped on Earth??? Don't let reality stop you!

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.

But apparently you can make things up if you are an ideolouge

You continue to display a total ignorance of basic ecology. The fact is that prior to cattle and sheep the sage brush steppe landscape had less fire, more plant and animal diversity, and supported larger populations of native wildlife.

If you can provide a single credible source for your fringe ideology that modern grazing somehow benefits native plant and animal communities then lets see it.

Otherwise you continue to document your foolishness for us all.

After your post, everything is grey and blue in Courier. Fix it!

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.

Tiresome attacks


I have no idea who the "us" and "we" you keep referring to can be. I know you're not really "the public," as you claim -- that would be ridiculous! I could hazard a guess, but you might think I was being pompous, rather than humorous.

I'm sorry, but you keep coming across as some tireless nitwit with too much time on their hands, frothing at the mouth to pick a fight -- but your arguments are so simplistic and misdirected I've decided they're just not worth responding to. The name-calling and baseless insinuations only make it worse.

And no, posting to a blog really isn't my job, any more than defending my statements to an anonymous name-caller is. Send me a paycheck, or reveal your supposed credentials, and I might respond to your feeble assertions and challenges. Or maybe not. I really don't owe you the courtesy of even this response at this point.

You've become rude and tiresome, and those just aren't good attributes for winning arguments, readers, friends, or followers. Or getting reasoned replies. Sorry, dude.

His name should be Retsyn--also Fuwia--TWO KOOKS IN ONE!

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.

finally you realize what its like to read your posts

I am glad this exercise has finally opened your eyes Bob. Your posts frequently pick fights (see your entire conversation about global warming), contain simplistic arguments (such as: (A) bison existed so cows must be okay too or (B)computer modeling was too hard for me so it must be junk science), and are nothing but baseless insinuation and name calling. Are you denying your opening post in this thread called furwia a "fool" and "illogical"? [Submitted by BobZybach on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 6:00pm.]

Your pattern of conclusory, uniformed, and ideological statements was established before I started posting. Now you see what it feels like for us reasonable people to have to deal with "the writings of a tireless nitwit with too much time on their hands, frothing at the mouth to pick a fight" as the bulk of you and your lacky contributions are.

We, anyone rational thinking person, are still waiting for any credible evidence for your fringe theory that cattle grazing causes no damage to the sage brush steppe landscape.

You make me laugh! (Seriously.)

It's always better to have someone laughing with you than at you, otto, is something I've learned through life.

And, trust me, I don't think computer modeling is particularly hard (just not good "science"), have never used the word "lib" that I can recall, accused anyone of hating America, or have lackeys. You either have a fevered imagination, poor reading and comprehension skills, or both. These are just more examples of what I've characterized as your "tiresome attacks." The laughter comes from my morbid sense of humor. Sorry, dude. (I am kind of curious what your academic level and/or employment record is, though -- and from what big city you come from).

face facts

Are you denying your opening post in this thread called furwia a "fool" and "illogical"? [Submitted by BobZybach on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 6:00pm.]

While it was PJ who spewed that libs" desire dictatorships, you characterized all climate change legislation as an "air-tax into socialism" or alleged some ulterior motive of the Democrats, for which "libs" is common vernacular in your world. Besides Since both you and PJ think alike it may be safe to assume you are really the same person. How many times have I been alleged to also be "colorado wants wolves"?

As for my credentials, since I don't know yours other than being a "historical ecologist," "college trained scientist" and, author of paper on computer modeling from the 80's who clearly has a loose grasp on ecology, science, and technological development I will let my comments stand on their own merit.

Oh yeah and I as well as others provide credible outside sources to support our views. Which you still fail to do.

Nope, and he gets brownie points for crayon work too.

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.



1) Yes I'm denying I called furwia a "fool" (although I may have inferred it), and if I didn't say he was illogical, I certainly could have.

2) As usual, I have no idea where you get your "information," but -- for your information -- "libs" is NOT "common vernacular in [my] world." That being said, however, "nitwit" IS common vernacular in my world. I have no idea what planet you're from, otto, but "my world" is based on Earth.

3) Thanks for informing me how PJ and I think. However, when you do so, you come across sounding like a nitwit. [Please note that "sounding like a nitwit" is not at all the same thing as being called a "nitwit." You seem to have a lot of problems with that concept.]

4) My credentials are readily avaialble via a simple Google search; mostly because I don't hide behind a pseudonym like a lot of pseudo-intellectual bloggers seem to do. Letting your comments stand on "their own merit" is a good idea. I wouldn't attach a real name to them either, if I were you.

5) You don't even have a credible name, "otto," and I really haven't noticed any "credible outside sources" you've provided. Mostly a bunch of irrational self-righteous name-calling and mud-slinging from what I can see. And a little hysterical at times at that, I might add.

I think the Reference section to my PhD is 42-pages long and is available online if you want to do a little "research." I don't mind taking the time exchanging insults, because it kind of humors me to do so, but I really don't have time or interest in justifying my research findings to a hostile, demanding, anonymous blogger. And I'll let that decision stand on its own merits.

you're making it up

you say Otto hasn't referenced what he says ? are you even reading what otto is writing ? are you confusing something ? you are the one on this forum whose claims are baseless --- and you keep saying that you won't substantiate them because of otto's alleged conduct :

"but i really don't have the time or interest in justifying my research findings"

from what i see --- it ain't the time or interest that you're missing ... it's the substantiation ~ the qualification --- or do those words make you feel uncomfortable so you'll avoid the merit by claiming i'm too hostile ?

put up or shut up.

Brian's blogging demands

Brian Ertz:

Sounds like a real name -- I like that in a blogger that tells me what to do!

Yes, of course I read otto's goofy rants; how do you think I could come up with all those snappy replies if I didn't?

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you will find that I have provided numerous links and references to specific scientists and their works over the past year or two. Some of this is to my own work, which is heavily referenced, for those with an interest in reading such things. Others include specific titles (also heavily referenced) to fellow scientists such as Kat Anderson, Charles Kay, and Thomas Bonnicksen. Rocky will back me on this. Other long-time readers, too.

Tell me what point (or points) I've made you'd like to see cited, and I will respond. You don't even have to be polite with your request. I prefer sending you the info by email, because there is usually no need to be so academic on a blog. This is a place for opinions and name-calling, for Gore's sake, not (necessarily) scientific discourse. Go to a Homepage on one of my websites, and the "Contact" link will lead you to me.

Unless you really aren't "Brian Ertz" and want to just keep your claims and demands anonymous, of course.

Bryan really does ERT I'll wager. Likely Head Injuries.

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.