by E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow Greg Walcher
As appearing in The Daily Sentinel
The proposed ballot measure forcing introduction of wolves into Western Colorado has touched off another debate pitting ranchers and livestock advocates against proponents (primarily the Sierra Club and a coalition of outside environmental organizations calling themselves the Southern Rockies Wolf Restoration Project.) They argue the supposed benefits, and the dangers, of bringing in wolves. But it seems clear to me that this debate is not about wolves – it is about cattle.
This has almost nothing to do with wildlife. The canine predators are merely the latest tool in a generation-long campaign to stop ranchers from raising cattle, and Americans from eating beef. One might actually admire the directness of socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), for honestly admitting she wants to rid the country of cattle, a goal denied by many climate-change activists. She admits “we set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”
For years, environmental industry websites have used language like this: “… do not want to eliminate all grazing, but instead, we advocate for management that ensures grazing practices are sustainable, allowing lands to remain ecologically diverse with healthy, functioning ecosystems.” Translation: we want to ban cows on public lands, but can’t admit it because that might be unpopular.