This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

On Jan. 27, in an article titled, "Utah ranchers renounce federal control," The Tribune reported that ranchers in Utah are withdrawing their consent to be governed by the BLM. Additionally, they refuse to pay their grazing fees.

Here on the Navajo reservation in Utah, we have hundreds, if not thousands of skilled ranchers who would love nothing better than the opportunity to hold these contracts with the BLM. Other Native Americans may be similarly well-positioned to fill this void. Please let us know where interested Goshutes, Utes, Paiutes, Shoshones and Navajos in Utah can apply for these now defunct permits.

Native Americans have a long history of grazing horses, sheep and cattle in Utah that pre-dates the existence of the cowboy and land ownership in the West. However, the system has been hobbled for the past 100 years to make it nearly impossible for Native Americans to purchase or hold grazing permits on public lands.

Give us Indians a chance to showcase what thousands of years of traditional stewardship knowledge has taught us about how to protect and care for Utah landscapes.

Willie Grayeyes

Board chairman, Utah Diné Bikéyah

comments powered by Disqus