Editor’s note: Grist published a variety of perspectives on the Bundy standoff in Oregon. There’s a lot at stake for both sides, and we welcome and value debate on the topic. To that end, here’s a response from Kevin Boyer to Ben Adler’s story on grazing. Boyer is the program associate for the Ecological Agriculture program at the 11th Hour Project. Grist is a grantee of the foundation. This article is not to be taken as the official Grist stance on the topic, because, for one thing, we don’t have one. It should be noted that while there is some promising research on carbon negative grazing, the science is far from conclusive.
In Ben Adler’s recent Grist article “Cattle grazing is a climate disaster, and you’re paying for it,” there are a number of facts that deserve closer inspection.
First, Adler equates grasslands and forests for their ability to sequester carbon. In fact, grass differs from trees in a few subtle, but important aspects. Rather than being destroyed by disturbance, like fire, grazing, or animal impact, grass actually requires it to remove last year’s growth and make way for the next seasonR... Read more