A rancher says ‘thanks’
Though the smoke, hopefully, has receded from our valley, that will not diminish our memories of the fires our valley has experienced, including those of 2014 and 2015. Though my grazing permit areas largely burned on both U.S. Forest Service and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) lands those years, I was lucky compared to many. However, those fires did leave me with a considerable number of cattle having nowhere to graze.
Faced at one point with a question of my continued survival as a rancher, I would like to publicly thank WDFW for their willingness to allow me to graze the Big Valley Ranch land. WDFW created a temporary grazing lease that allowed me to use the Big Valley while my historical grazing lands were allowed to recover. In several weeks, my use of the Big Valley will come to an end, and I will return to my permit lands next spring, subject to certain restrictions.
As the fifth generation of Boesels who have called the Methow home, I have seen this community respond with generosity and compassion when others have been in need. These fires found me on the receiving end of this support, from an agency I’ve been critical of at times.
There are many individuals who worked to make my survival as a cattle rancher possible over the last three years. To mention just a few, I would like to thank Jim Brown, regional director of WDFW, Dale Swedberg (retired, WDFW), local area manager Brandon Troyer, and Ranger Rick Lewis at Pearrygin Lake State Park. I would also like to thank Jason Paulsen at the Methow Conservancy for his leadership and assistance in navigating the challenges from the fires.
I know that making Big Valley available to me as a rancher was not easy, and I recognize that there are those who look upon cows at Big Valley with displeasure. But I thank those named above for all they have done and endured to enable me to continue my life in the Methow was a cattle rancher.
Craig Boesel, Winthrop
I recently wrote about some absurdities that the extremists running our Republican federal government use to justify doing nothing about the madness in our country and world. Now it’s getting more local.
I practically fell over laughing when I read Rep. Dan Newhouse’s latest idea about “science.” He proposed a bill that all data submitted under the Endangered Species Act by any local government or tribe must be treated as “best scientific data available.” This would allow any county government to say, for example: “We saw more salmon this year in the Columbia River than any commissioner could remember. This data proves they are no longer endangered.”
Newhouse’s bill would deem that as best available science, which then must be used in government decisions. There could be no test or challenge to the validity of this so-called “data.” It would automatically be deemed the “best available science.” Either he doesn’t have a clue how scientific research works, or he just doesn’t care.
Why not the same proposal for the FDA Act? Before licensing or refusing to license a new drug, the FDA must give equal scientific weight to the data submitted by all local governments. If some county commissioner says she knows people cured of cancer by Mr. Mickey’s Snake Oil, then that “data” gets equal scientific treatment with FDA doctors and scientists saying it’s a hoax.
A long time ago people thought the earth was flat and the sun revolved around it. They tried to stop scientists from challenging those views. Looks like Mr. Newhouse would have sided with the “flat earthers” if he had lived back then.
Randy Brook, Twisp