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Letter to the Editor: Land Trust is the only entity that can “rewild” the county

An open letter to  the Feather River Land Trust Board of Directors,

The North American Pronghorn Foundation estimates that there were 35 to 75 million Antelope here in the West before the white man arrived. They existed from about Kansas to the Pacific Ocean from Lower Canada to Upper Mexico. They rivaled the magnitude of the Buffalo herds before we killed them off.  Look around now. How many Antelope do you see in Genesee, Indian, American and all of the valleys of Plumas County? If you are lucky, you might see one of two or a few in Sierra Valley.

Here is the description of Sierra Valley by James P. Beckworth when he “discovered” it in 1850+- from his book; “The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckworth: Mountaineer, Scout, and pioneer, …….”

“It was the latter end of April when we entered an extensive valley to the Northeast extremity of the  Sierra range. The valley was already robed in the freshest verdure, contrasted most delightfully with the huge snow clad masses of rock we had just left. Flowers of every variety and huge spread their variegated charms before us;  magpies were chattering, the gloriously plumaged birds were caroling in the delights of unmolested solitude. Swarms of wild geese and ducks were swimming on the surface of the cool crystal stream which was the central Fork of the Rio de Las Plumas, or sailed the air in clouds over our heads. Deer and Antelope plaid the plains, and their boldness was conclusive that the hunters rifle was to them unknown. Nowhere visible were any traces of the white man’s approach, and it is probable that our steps were the first that ever marked the spot. We struck across this beautiful valley to the Waters of the Yuba, from thence to the waters of the Truchy, …”

As I see it, all the valleys of the Sierras, Cascades and Plumas County looked like this and were teeming with wildlife before we kicked the wildlife off the property and brought the cattle in.

Nowadays, it is a monoculture of Cattle and Alfalfa.  I and others are not so much anti cattle as we are pro wildlife and biodiversity. So, I guess my question is; why is The Land Trust Board so resistant to help Rewild Plumas County?

As I see it there is only one entity that can help Rewild Plumas County and that is “The Land Trust”.

I am guessing that in Plumas County 95%+- of all the valleys are privately owned and used for cattle ranching.  The remaining  5%+- is Owned by the US Government and have long-term grazing allotment leases on the remaining Meadows. The Feather River Land Trust is the only entity in Plumas County with the flexibility to actually help Rewild the county by reintroducing Antelope and Elk on their properties, and making their land more bird and wildlife friendly and promote biodiversity instead of a monoculture. Especially the Heart K in Genesee Valley.

The Land Trust  shouldn’t even consider drawing water out of the Indian Creek to grow more cattle on the Heart K ranch. The fish have senior water rights over the cattle.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Land Trust were to work towards re-creating Beckworth’s description of Sierra Valley. I am sure all the valleys looked that way before we got here. So why not work to re-establish biodiversity in the valleys instead of just dumping more cattle on the land and promoting more monoculture in our valleys?

So, it is my guess that the Donors must want more cattle on the land trust property. Why else would “The Board” keep stuffing more cattle on the land, when they could be working on Rewilding the Wild and increasing biodiversity.

If you are supporting the Land Trust maybe you should talk to “The Board Members” and or include a note with your next donation about Rewilding the Wild.

Bob Beckwith



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