My View From The Country

Interior’s Jewell May Be Best We Could Expect

Sally Jewell’s resume in many ways has to be considered a potential plus for proponents of multiple use of public lands.

Sally Jewell was confirmed by an overwhelming majority of the U.S. Senate this week (vote of 87-11), but there’s been concern expressed about Jewell’s commitment to the multiple-use concept on federal lands. It’s a concern primarily based on the fact that she serves (and will now resign) as vice chairwoman of the board for the National Parks Conservation Association, an organization that has worked through the courts to limit multiple use.

While public lands ranchers had long given up hope that the U.S. Interior Secretary would be someone favorably disposed to grazing or economic use of these lands, Jewell’s resume in many ways has to be considered a potential plus. She’s actually held multiple executive positions with for-profit institutions including Mobil oil and corporate banking, and was CEO of the REI outdoor retail cooperative.

There’s hope that this private-sector experience will make her more predisposed to the argument that there’s a benefit associated with providing the world with food and fiber. Of course, time will be the final arbitrator. Given the political environment in which federal land users are operating in, however, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario much better than the one we’ve been given with Sally Jewell.

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Discuss this Blog Entry 2

Shar (not verified)
on Apr 12, 2013

This may not be quite on topic beyond addressing public policy. When it comes to public policy I have noted that the livestock industry has been very silent on gun rights. I am tired of those saying guns are only for killing people. Maybe many are afraid of alienating the public more, but we need guns more than most.

I try to provide lawmakers with examples of why we need guns, and need them readily accessable to protect our animals. I come from more of a sheep background and many sheep producers have been put out of business in Californa after all the coyote protections that have been enacted. Sheep are the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to predators in the livestock industry. When sheep ranches go the coyotes are a lot more inclined to attack calves.

I think livestock organizations should consider signing on as supporters/sponsors of legislation with NRA and other gun rights organizations. We are losing our rights one word at a time. If we don't worry about our rights they will go away.

What do you think?

John R. Dykers, Jr. (not verified)
on Apr 17, 2013

Our goat herd grew to over 100 and did a beautiful job of controling hackberry and crimson weed and even helped with the horsenettle, all noxious plants we had been unsuccessful in controling previously. The kids attracted the coyotes and they were so devastating we had to sell our herd.
Never thought I would admit to missing the goats, but I do. Coyete control will get some attention soon as they invade the suburbs and start eating pets! New Hope Farm Siler City NC

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.


Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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