Ranch owners’ views deserve respect — Letter to the editor

Regarding the letter headlined “Prairie dogs erode, don’t restore,” in Tuesday’s CNJ:

Jim Riding took the time to point out his experience with prairie dogs causing erosion, claiming my inexperience on the subject.

First, I’d like to say that I was misquoted in the original article, my actual statement being “… a demand for people who are looking for prairie dogs to restore grassland (not “grass in”) ecosystems.” To the writer’s credit, I was interviewed on an extremely windy day.

Second, prairie dog towns in healthy grassland ecosystems are rarely denuded or eroding, contain higher plant diversity and are green longer than non-prairie dog inhabited lands, the reason why antelope and bison will selectively graze prairie dog towns.

Riding’s experience in agriculture, farming, and with the Natural Resources Conservation Service have more to do with perennial over-grazing and monoculture (GMO) genetically modified crops than they do with native ecosystems.

The prairie dogs from Clovis were released into healthy grassland that is only grazed by under-stocked bison and wild elk, and they have thousands of acres upon which to expand, thereby limiting their impact.

I am not attempting to change the mind of farmers, ranchers or the city council, only to point out that some private ranch owners have a different perspective on how to manage their land and that should be respected in this state and country.

Trent Botkin

Santa Fe