In which the writer proposes:

Splitting conventional wisdoms and inspecting for rot.
Wrestling with the status quo.
Weighing environmental and economic absurdities.
Disentangling metaphors.

Saturday, 7 April 2018



                                                 CANNINGS  & COWS

Area representative M.P. Dick Cannings recently authored a piece in local papers in support of the National Park proposed for the Okanagan in which he advocated the continuance of cattle grazing on public land.

As supporters of the National Park idea, we have published articles of support with our support contingent on removal of the cow.


We recently wrote to M.P. Cannings to take issue with his support for cattle grazing, the precedent that would be created that could affect other National Parks, and the background reasons behind his cattle grazing support.

In the absence of any acknowledgement or reply by M.P. Cannings, we are now publishing an Open Letter to M.P. Cannings.
          See full story

The following is an extract from our “Open Letter to M.P. Cannings.”

“Your support for continued cattle grazing, and the precedent that would be established in a National Park is an unfortunate proposal that fails to promote willing seller, willing buyer discussions that would result in removal of the cow. More significant is that your support for continued cattle grazing ignores the role of cattle as “degradation agents” whose presence has greatly damaged grasslands and habitat, and continues to do so.
We might have expected, given your environmental interests, you would be well aware of the economic and environmental absurdity of cattle grazing on public land.
We were aware however of a cautionary note when we saw/heard your reported comment, prior to your election, that cattle grazing in the Okanagan benefitted some birds. In enquiring (to people better acquainted with your work) as to whether this might mean that you would support continued cattle grazing in a Park, respondents thought good sense would prevail, not cows.
It seems clear that desired habitat for some nesting bird is of more concern to you than the wide-ranging damage occurring, thanks to cattle grazing.
Some comment on the bird in question may be useful.
To quote from your own book and your other comments, “Lark Sparrow, (nesting is)associated with bare earth between grass clumps and shrubs in grasslands, so may actually benefit from cattle grazing”.
Interestingly, the Audubon Society, perhaps better aware of cattle damage, describes the Lark Sparrow as “fairly common and widespread in the West....nesting in open country, bare ground, overgrazed pastures
We provided the following partial list of cattle related problems and damage to M. P. Cannings.
A partial list of problems associated with cattle grazing:
  • grassland and riparian degradation
  • absurd water consumption raising low value crops
  • water contamination
  • cattle contribution to weed spread, cheat grass and other invasives.
  • public fencing costs
  • ecological-restoration costs (millions in public funds spent to repair damage, without removing the root cause, cattle)
  • lost opportunity costs
  • forest regrowth damage
  • conflicts with wildlife, habitat, food
  • growing awareness of cattle contribution to global warming.
For the complete story see the full article:           here

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