Cattle and wildfires
Mark Pratt, President of the Idaho Cattle Association, says cattle can remove the fine fuels that allow fires to grow at a breakneck pace.
“My understanding on this year’s fires, they had some areas that had a fuel load of about 2,000 tons per acre. And thinking that you can do anything with a fire once it gets into a fuel load, there’s nothing that can be done other than stand back and watch it create its own weather.”
He says between what cows eat and step on, they are very efficient at reducing those dangerous fuel loads.
Pratt adds that over the past 20 years the cattle industry has learned the role they play in carbon sequestration and helping keep the environment clean.
“We have better understanding of our roll with carbon sequestration. It is a big buzz word today along with sustainability. We play a part in this in keeping the whole ecosystem healthy along with the wildlife that is there alongside us.”
He says the cattle industry is ready to work with local, state and federal agencies to keep the forest clean not only to lower the risk of massive wildfires, but also to maintain the great outdoors people love to enjoy.