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.