Letters to the Editor

Montrose letter: Public land

Do you know who owns about 50 percent of the public federal land leases for cattle grazing? Ted Turner, the Koch family, the Simplot family and about 12 other billionaires, and they are looking to buy more. The small family rancher is not just competing with the federal government. About 3 to 5 percent of the cattle in America are raised on federal land, and the small family ranchers only own about 50 percent of the leases. The federal government is making more money from recreation than from cattle ranching. So from an economic standpoint, you are not making a good case to the taxpayer. You want to keep your ranching way of life in the West? You might want to work with the federal government so they can help support your way of life. Comparing AUM (assests under management) fees on private land versus public land is not fair. Public land ranchers pay a lot of out-of-pocket fees to maintain the land and their cattle. But from a taxpayer point of view who loves to recreate on that same land, you are better off working with us instead of against us.

Todd Montrose, Meridian

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