Feds need to pay ranchers

We've been reporting on the purchase of conservation easements by the federal government to protect ranch lands for a couple of years now. What we haven't known until just recently is that in exchange for all those easements exactly zero dollars have so far been paid.

There was a time in this country's history when people expected to get stiffed by the U.S. government.

It has long been our contention that if we really wanted to honor Snowshoe Thompson (who delivered the mail, but was never paid), we would undertake a dangerous and difficult task over the course of many years then not get a nickel.

But nowadays the government at least pretends to be efficient and cuts checks on a regular basis for important services.

We don't claim that Carson Valley conservation easements are of national importance. They're just very important to us. There is money set aside for the purchases, agreements have been made, deals have been struck.

So what's the hold-up?

We hope that it is a minor snag that will be corrected quickly and that the folks who've entrusted the future of family farming to the feds on the basis of these agreements aren't being fed a line of bull.

Anyone who sells for a living knows that a buyer who regularly commits to a sale and then backs out isn't taken very seriously.


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