Feds ride roughshod in the West

As Nevada has shifted from rural to urban living in the last 50 years, many of us read with detachment about the plight of the ranching industry as it struggles to stay in business dealing with the increasingly capricious federal agencies who rule public land.

All Nevadans, however, should care. If Washington, D.C., can ride roughshod over the ranching industry in the name of water, or the environment or whatever other issue is hot at the moment, it can do it to any industry.

Imagine if Washington, D.C., in its zeal to “manage” water during a drought in the West, came to other industries in Nevada and cut in half their ability to make a living.

“Due to water constraints,” Washington, D.C., might say, “the gaming industry must cut in half the number of rooms it may sell.”

Every elected official and chamber of commerce in the state would be up in arms. But when it happens to ranchers in Northern Nevada, there’s hardly a stir.

It’s in everybody’s interest in Nevada and the West to pay attention to what the federal government is trying to do to the ranching industry.