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Unpublished Paper
Trampling the Public Trust
ExpressO (2009)
  • Debra L. Donahue, University of Wyoming

Many ecological problems in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem can be traced to livestock production politics. Federal land managers and state wildlife agencies refuse to address the root causes of these problems and seek ecological solutions. They pursue management policies driven, not by science or law, but by an institutionalized relationship with livestock interests. This article describes three pressing ecological issues--predator control, elk and bison supplemental feeding, and climate change--and explains how public land grazing causes or contributes to each problem and frustrates solutions. The article argues that current management policies violate state duties as trustee for the people’s wildlife and federal law governing public lands and resources, and that removal of livestock from public lands would help restore ecosystems and promote solutions to these seemingly intractable problems.

  • public lands,
  • livestock grazing,
  • climate change,
  • ecosystem restoration
Publication Date
July 14, 2009
Citation Information
Debra L. Donahue. "Trampling the Public Trust" ExpressO (2009)
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