The following comments were submitted to the Forest Service on the grazing environmental assessment.
Trespass cows and their impacts in closed Mt. Adams’ Gotchen Creek meadows:
(photos 2010 & 2011 by Jurgen Hess)
The Forest Service (FS) has consistently failed to protect Mount Adams’s fragile Gotchen Creek meadows and streams from grazingcattle. Under a FS permit for up to 1,070 animals, a private rancher’s cows regularly trespass onto Gotchen Creek causing severe damage to meadows. Streambanks are compacted and eroded, wet meadows and ponds are destroyed and contaminated with cow pies, wildflowers are trampled and eaten. The FS hasn’t stopped this trespass grazing and has not enforced its regulations to protectour public resources—fences are not maintained, cows routinely enter closed meadows.
Now the FS proposes to continue Mt. Adams grazing for another 10 year period without significant changes. The Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mt. Adams Ranger District has published its Environmental Assessment to continue grazing and is asking for public comments. See http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=30508
Friends of Mount Adams (FOMA) has been working to get the FS to take enforcement action to stop the trespass and protect our publicresources. Learn more at FOMA’s website www.mtadamsfriends.org/?page_id=35 . The site has a 2010 and 2011 report detailing FOMA’s monitoring, lack of FS engagement and resource impacts.
Please tell the Forest Service to:
- Disclose its record of regularly not stopping cattle trespass…ask what it will do to enforce regulations and protect our resources
- Protect wildflowers, streambanks, meadows, recreation, Wilderness resources
- Require fences to be maintained by the permittee and enforce regulations when fences are not maintained
- Install fences that keep cattle out of Gotchen Creek meadows
- Conduct weekly monitoring reviews to check on fence condition and cattle trespass & post those reviews.
- Enforce permit regulations or close the allotment to cattle until permit regulations are met
- Do surveys for sensitive species like the Mardon skipper butterfly, especially in Gotchen meadows
- If the FS can’t or won’t protect the environment (the current situation), don’t allow the grazing permit to be renewed for another 10 years….close the allotment to cattle
Please write a comment letter in your own words describing the special areas you want protected and the impacts you’ve seen. See the FS website above for address. It’s your land—ask for it to be protected.
Due date for your comments: April 1, 2012
Please take action…..Mount Adams needs your help!
This alert provided by Friends of Mount Adams www.mtadamsfriends.org