The Bureau of Land Management’s Cattle-Ravaged Lands in Southern Utah
Utah native Julian Hatch traces his ancestry to Mormon sheep ranchers who settled the region in the nineteenth century with Brigham Young. After graduating from the College of the Atlantic with a degree in human ecology, Hatch returned to Utah—settling in Boulder to pursue a back-to-the-land lifestyle. Repeated trespassing by cattle on his private property, along with a concern for the health of the land, soon brought Hatch into conflict with local ranchers and public lands managers. In 1983, Hatch responded by forming the Boulder Regional Group to facilitate the monitoring of environmental conditions on the public lands of southern Utah.
Julian Hatch describes how supplemental nutrients are provided to cattle on BLM’s overgrazed, vegetation-depleted lands in southern Utah. At least these supplements are paid for by ranchers rather than taxpayers. But that the supplements are needed to keep cattle healthy is a sad commentary on the quality of forage that the BLM’s cattle-grazing management has left for wildlife.
Recorded in September 2004. This video is an excerpt from Julian Hatch’s interview in Western Turf Wars: The Politics of Public Lands Ranching