Public Lands Grazing Use A Way Of Life For Ranchers
Outside historic Durango, Colorado, there’s a family that has been running sheep for nearly a century. Not only are they providing a year-round economic base for the community, but they’re also playing an active role in the production of America’s lamb and wool.
Public lands ranching is a way of life for ranchers like J. Paul Brown in western Colorado. He says without grazing permits like his in the San Juan National Forest, his family wouldn’t be able to stay in business and continue to raise high-quality lamb and wool.
He says through responsible grazing, they’re enhancing the range condition of the forest and truly making it a healthier environment for all outdoor enthusiasts.
Since 1971, the Brown family has been grazing their sheep in the San Juan National Forest. And J. Paul Brown says today wildlife issues are one of their biggest challenges to preserving their way of life.
Despite the rhetoric from environmental groups who want ranchers off of federal lands, he says ranchers like him embrace multiple uses on Forest Service and BLM land.
It’s because of ranchers like J Paul Brown and others that organizations like the American Sheep Industry Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Public Lands Council work every day in states like Colorado and in Washington, DC, to make sure cattle and sheep remain part of America’s public lands. Public lands ranchers are invited to the 2019 public lands council annual meeting taking place on September 25th - 28th in Great Falls, Montana. For more information, visit publiclandscouncil.org.
Story by Russell Nemetz