A June 1990 study, called The Desert Tortoise in Relation to Cattle Grazing by Vernon Bostick formerly posted to the University of Arizona website (and still found through Google) should prove once and for all the incredible stupidity of the bumbling bureaucrats with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The BLM’s self-proclaimed ‘Save the Tortoise’ balderdash is killing off both the tortoise and cows:
“While livestock, jack rabbits, and grasshoppers were busy grubbing the range to stave off starvation, the tranquil tortoise whiled away the time snoozing in its burrow. Then how did they survive? Easy enough—they used a different food source.
“The toothless tortoise is ill equipped to harvest and masticate range forage. The tortoise can harvest only tender vegetation, and it can’t masticate even that. The tortoise can’t process enough bulky, low analysis forage fast enough to meet its nutritional requirements (Nagy & Medica 1986). They solved this problem long ago—they allow other animals to do it for them. Desert tortoises feed primarily on dung. The more animals using the range, the more dung, which makes more food available for tortoises.”
So removing cattle as the BLM is doing on Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch is not helping the Desert Tortoise. In fact, it’s killing them off.
“The reason is very simple: cows provide tortoises with both food and drink. In doing so, they not only prevent die-offs in dry years but they relieve the multiple and continual stresses which affect all tortoises “Protected” from cattle grazing. (Vernon Bostick)
“A favorite food of desert tortoises is fresh cow dung…in flat country…cattle will range as much as four miles from water, thus, from one watering place, cows can distribute water to tortoises on over 50 square miles. A cow distributes 12 cow pies each day. The more cows on the range, the more watering places there will be for the tortoises, and the more likely it will be that the tortoise will find a life-sustaining cow-pie.
“A crust forms on cow-pies which retards evaporation; the interior dries out very slowly. Cows can, therefore, supply water to tortoises for several weeks after they leave the range.”
As environmentalists BLM agents make good cow-pies.
Their ‘Save the Environment’ twaddle notwithstanding, BLM’s invasion of Cliven Bundy’s ranch is not all about the tortoise.
Tortoise fed and watered by grazing cattle don’t need 200 snipers, helicopters, SUVs and tasers to save them.
Until Vernon Bostick’s University of Arizona paper was unearthed, the Desert Tortoise was the perfect excuse for marauding BLM agents to drive land owners and ranchers off land confiscated for Big Government.
Meanwhile, while they’re rewriting the words of ‘Home on the Range’, there’s nothing more deadly than trigger-happy bureaucrats.
Source: Plight of the Desert Tortoise http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/62380