I know this is time sensitive, but I am curious if anyone has been watching any of the docs this past week. I saw Gasland and Sweet Grass. Gasland was incredible, both in the information it dropped and in the editing and post-production. Sweet Grass was good too, and it sparked a good bit of rumination on my part.
In short, the movie chronicled the last (I think anyway) sheep herding operation to graze in the Absoraka-Beartooth Wilderness during the summer. It left me thinking about private use of public lands. Sheep are notorious for eating everything in front of them and the ground they were grazing were pretty high elevation, sub-alpine ecotypes. Grazing there is tough on the landscape. Same issue with cattle grazing in the desert southwest. Of course, in both places, grazing is a historical use, one that is specifically allowed on public lands, including Wilderness. But, people like to eat meat and cows or sheep eating grass is a pretty natural thing. If there are regulations in place that prevent the landscape from getting hammered, I'm less inclined to protest. I remember back in the '90's there was a push to discontinue all grazing on public lands.
So, like Destini's "Nature and Hierarchy" thread, I'm hoping to spark some conversation and solicit how the Missoula community feels about this issue.
I recall hearing something once about sheep, or maybe it was goats that were grazing on Mt. Sentinel to help control the knap weed. Are they still doing this or have they found a better way to help maintain the knap weed problem?
Diego Footer on Permaculture Based Homesteads - from the Eat Your Dirt Summit