Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Market Driven Solutions

Hi all! ;-)

A lot of Conservatives like to pretend that liberals believe that the first, last, and only solution to any problem is more government involvement. The truth is that it's much better when problems are solved without any government involvement. Some government regulation is occasionally necessary, but it's always better if citizens can solve problems themselves.

That's why I was both pleased and upset by John Tierny's latest article. In it, he relates how some environmentalists are taking a new approach to conservation in Utah; they are purchasing the land they wish to preserve. Or to be more precise, they are purchasing the grazing permits for said land.
Mr. Hedden's group doesn't use lobbyists or lawsuits (or guns) to drive out ranchers. These environmentalists get land the old-fashioned way. They buy it.

To reclaim the Escalante River canyon, Mr. Hedden bought the permits that entitle Mr. LeFevre's cows to graze on the federal land near the river. He figures it was a good deal for the environment because native shrubs and grasses are reappearing, now that cows aren't eating and trampling the vegetation.

Mr. LeFevre likes the deal because it enabled him to buy grazing permits for higher ground that's easier for him and his cows to reach than the canyon.
So that is a nice way to preserve our land.

That said, there is some trouble coming for this deal. Apparently some of the ranching interests in Utah want to see federal intervention to put a stop to these kinds of deals. They believe that their way of life will be endangered if some of these lands are allowed to revert to nature; and they are pressuring the Bureau of Land Management to put cows back on these lands. Hopefully they won't.

Anyway it is a nice idea, at any rate.

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