Spencer Lennard: Subsidies turn Emigrant Wilderness into grazing nightmare

Straight from the Horse's Heart

By Spencer LennardSpecial to The Bee

“Instead of the pristine trout creek we expected, the otherwise spectacular Kennedy Creek was lined with thousands of steaming piles of cow dung, swarms of black flies, cow-trampled banks and waterways and green algae-filled water.”

Spencer Lennard is an avid hiker, mountaineer and public lands advocate who lives in Oregon. Spencer Lennard is an avid hiker, mountaineer and public lands advocate who lives in Oregon.

Several friends and I recently embarked on what we hoped would be a wilderness adventure in California’s high country. What we found was nothing like that.

When we picked up the wilderness permit for our hike in the Emigrant Wilderness in the Stanislaus National Forest, we envisioned the Sierra high country to be wonderful fish and wildlife habitat lined with huge, picturesque ponderosa pines and white granite cliffs. The otherwise helpful rangers made no mention of the ecosystem wreckage we were about to encounter.

Instead of the pristine trout creek we expected…

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