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The Complicated History of Grazing in the West

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At a recent meeting, Utah ranchers and public officials discussed ongoing disputes over the use and administration of federal land. And really, the disputes date back generations, back to the time of the Dust Bowl, when livestock roamed freely on public lands. Some say that changes in federal policy and regulations have improved conditions, but some ranchers still cry foul. Monday, we’re delving into the complicated history of ranching in the West to see what it tells us about the problems today.

  • Pat Shea is a private attorney, a research professor of biology at the University of Utah, and a former director of the Bureau of Land Management under the Clinton administration.
  • Randy Simmons is the Charles G. Koch Professor of political economy at Utah State University. He's also the president of Strata Policy, a think tank hired by the Utah State Legislature to promote its efforts to gain control of public lands.
Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.