WSGA adopts new policies
Riverton – On the last day of their 2023 Summer Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) adopted a handful of new policies for the coming year.
The new policies are listed below.
Conservation and landscape health
Whereas the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) “Conservation BLM and Landscape Health” rule, threatening the multiple-use mandate, released a proposal for the management of federal lands;
Whereas this rule was admittedly developed without any input from state and local governments and the multiple use community including livestock grazing;
Whereas this rule directly violates the Federal Land Policy Management Act and was developed without compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act;
Therefore be it resolved WSGA calls on the BLM to withdraw this proposed rule;
And, be it further resolved WSGA supports strong Congressional efforts to prohibit implementation of the rule.
Whereas WSGA recognizes the critical role an appropriate traceability system can contribute to assuring the health of our cattle herd and marketability of our high-quality beef;
Whereas a national electronic identification (EID) system, if properly developed with producer input, can best achieve these goals;
Therefore be it resolved WSGA will support development of a voluntary EID system which provides maximum protection against the disclosure of EID information to any outside parties and its use for any purpose other than disease traceability except as authorized by the owner of the livestock and is compatible with the use of the same radio frequency identification tags for cattle marketing purposes unrelated to animal health.
Water right transfers
Whereas Wyoming water law and Wyoming Court decisions are clear any transfer of a water right to a different beneficial use and any change in the point of diversion of a water right must not injuriously affect the rights of other appropriators;
Whereas transfers can result in a significant permanent loss of available water for agricultural production;
Therefore be it resolved WSGA opposes any such transfers or changes not preceded by open public meetings, consultation with potentially affected appropriators and careful analysis of potential impacts by the state engineer.
Whereas elk populations in many areas of Wyoming far exceed population objectives by more than the 20 percent recognized to accommodate statistical uncertainty;
Whereas excessive elk populations are occupying ranges critical for deer and other ungu- late populations, thereby diminishing the health and productivity of these populations;
Whereas forage competition from elk is forcing ranchers to reduce livestock numbers and seasons of use in order to protect the health of the rangelands;
Whereas elk feedgrounds and other supplemental feeding, while critical to reducing brucellosis risk by maintaining separation between elk and cattle, are diminished in effectiveness while becoming far more costly due to the excess populations;
Whereas excess elk populations grazing on private lands constitute an unlawful “taking” of private property;
Therefore be it resolved WSGA calls upon the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission (WGFC) to aggressively employ all tools available to them to restore and maintain elk populations at or below population objectives;
And, be it further resolved the Wyoming Legislature take steps to provide WGFC with any additional tools and funding needed to achieve these reductions within a period not to exceed two years.