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West's Federal Grazing Fees

The author of the Opinion page article "Clinton Must Keep Promise to Protect Public Lands," April 8, claims that the grazing fees on public lands are too low and that as a consequence, vast areas have been stripped of their native shrubs and abused.

Yet the environmental issue is not how much the fees are, but how many cattle are on the land. Low fees don't overgraze - too many cattle do.

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) tells ranchers how many animals per acre they can put on a particular section of public land. If the fees were 10 times what they are now, it wouldn't help a bit if the BLM is incorrect in their stocking rate. This is the issue that the environmentalists should examine. Frates Seeligson, San Antonio

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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