Kill the Cowboy: A Battle of Mythology in the New West

Sharman Apt Russell, Author Addison Wesley Publishing Company $20 (217p) ISBN 978-0-201-58123-2
To environmentalists, wilderness is a valuable resource and a sacred place; to many ranchers, wilderness means eviction and government interference. Russell, herself a westerner, here tackles the complex and controversial issues of land health and wildlife in the West. Overgrazing is a major problem that can cause permanent damage. The figures are awesome: 80% of Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management regions, 50% of designated Wilderness Areas and 35% of National Wildlife Refuges are grazed. Fewer than 15% of all grazing permits remain with the original holders; ``ranchers'' include the Vail Ski Corp., the Union and Getty oil companies. In 1990, federal agencies spent $52 million more on programs dealing with livestock than they collected in grazing fees. Russell ( Songs of the Fluteplayer ) presents a number of viewpoints and profiles courageous individuals who are making an effort to restore the land. She stresses that although ranching traditions must be preserved, we need not graze 70% of the land. A provocative and enlightening account. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
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