Every Sunday or Monday, we go check the gates in our Bureau of Land Management (BLM) allotments to make sure the weekend's recreationalists left them in the proper open/closed position. If the wrong gates are closed, our cattle can't get to water; and if the wrong gates are open, our cattle can get into other allotments we aren't allowed to use at a certain time.
This weekend while checking our gates, we came across a stretch of fence that had been burned down; more than likely done by someone who was looking for a "thrill". I have been, and will always be, a fan of responsible recreation; but as time goes on, I find the "responsibility" factor to be severely lacking.
It absolutely sickens me to see such blatant disrespect of our natural resources, and to know that someone out there believes that it's ok to commit such an act. As a rancher and renter of public lands, I am tired of the general public condemning me as a "user and abuser of the land.” In reality, I'm someone who strives to properly manage our nation's rangelands every day. I pride myself in taking care of the land and grazing my cattle in a way that facilitates the longevity of our natural resources. I also expect non-renters to feel that same sense of responsibility...whether they're riding, biking, walking or hunting. If people want our public lands to continue to stay public for generations to come, then all parties—ranchers and recreationalists, alike—must be conscientious of their actions.
Jarvis ranches in Southern Idaho with her husband and parents, grazing cattle on federal, state and deeded land.