The new range war

As a movement builds to sell off US public lands or hand control of them to the states, many ranchers and hunters are resisting.

Merill Beyeler bears the classic look of a Western rancher. He’s got the leathery face of someone who has spent a lot of time outdoors. He wears flannel shirts, jeans, and a bone-colored cowboy hat.

Mr. Beyeler, whose family roots in Idaho’s Lemhi County extend back to the 1850s, is also a rock-ribbed Republican. True, in Idaho, one of the reddest states in the nation, most people are Republican. But in Lemhi County, a hauntingly beautiful expanse of bald, taupe mountains and verdant river valleys wedged up against the Montana border, virtually no one puts a Democratic bumper sticker on his or her pickup. So you’d think that people like Beyeler would be happy at the prospect of the new Trump administration, buttressed by one of the most conservative cabinets in decades, ushering in a dramatic change in the management of public lands in the West. You’d think that they would relish the prospect of federal agencies either opening up more expanses to ranchers and commercial interests or giving more control to states.

You’d be wrong.

LINK (via: The Christian Science Monitor)

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