BC’s cattle ranchers are pushing back against a call for an audit of grazing leases in the province.
The BC Wildlife Federation is asking Auditor General Carol Bellringer for an audit of grazing leases, which allow ranchers to block public access to crown lands. The BCWF argues leases may no longer serve the public interest because they allow ranchers to block public access to crown land. Grazing licenses require the land remain accessible.
Kevin Boon, President of the BC Cattlemen’s Association says, leased lands are only a small percentage of crown lands province-wide.
“It’s 0.17 per cent of the actual crown land that’s available. I don’t think that it should be a huge issue that we would like to manage that responsibly.”
He says ranchers pay more for leases, and are required to pay for the upkeep of fencing and other infrastructure on them. He adds in some cases ranchers block access for public safety reasons.