An article was recently published in The Durango Herald slamming the beef industry and the impact it (allegedly) has on Colorado’s natural habitat and wildlife (Opinion: “Cattle are ecological misfits in the arid West,” Oct. 10). It was dismissive of the ranchers and farmers who have worked tirelessly for generations to cultivate a healthy and safe product while sustaining the land they live and work on. Water used for raising beef is not used up; it percolates into aquifers, it runs down streams into lakes and oceans, it evaporates and returns as precipitation, and cattle pastures provide land to filter this water and return it to the ecosystem. The pastures that cattle graze also provide feed and water to wildlife in the area. They contribute to open space and many scenic byways. Ranching families have led conservation efforts across the United States for generations. Today’s farmers and ranchers are strong examples of true environmentalists.
Terry FankhauserArvada(The writer is executive vice president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association)