From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 50 - March 10, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Hageman speaks to GRVCA

by Isabel Rucker

The guest speaker at Saturday's annual cattlemen's banquet was Harriet Hageman. Hageman grew up in a ranching family near Ft. Laramie and attended Wyoming colleges. She received her law degree in 1989 and has since been representing a diverse clientele. The Green River Valley Cattlemen's Association is among her many clients.

GRVCA is a member of the wolf coalition, represented by Hageman and her partner Kara Brighton, pursuing litigation for a supplemental environmental impact statement on the effects of the reintroduced wolves on livestock and wildlife. Hageman said the original EIS had dramatically low numbers for the effects on animals.

Hageman and Brighton have a law office in Cheyenne. They have also formed the Wyoming Conservation Alliance, which promotes Wyoming's participation in the federal regulatory process. WCA is a closely held corporation of which there are 14 shareholders, Hageman and Brighton are two. WCA realized the regulatory process is being manipulated and won't protect the environment.

In an interview, Hageman mentioned that a large problem today is that congresses, senates and local politicians are dwarfed by the large federal agencies that are run by unelected officials. Helping clients swim through the daily proposals and paperwork those agencies put out is among WCA's services. WCA publishes clear and concise weekly and monthly newsletters for their clients, warning of new proposals and ends of comment periods, and they can draft comments with their clients' words.

Hageman feels strongly about protecting agriculture. The ag business is one of the backbones in providing wildlife habitat and Hageman reminds people to realize that historically there was not nearly the amount of wildlife in the West as today. Among other things, water-resource development has been very important.

"The best defense ag people have is that they are critical to protecting the environment."

If livestock producers are continually faced with wolf problems and having grazing areas taken away, Hageman says their land will be broken up and turned into subdivisions. Open spaces provide migration corridors, water and food resources, and habitat. With broken up land, there will be less wide-open spaces for wildlife and negative effects on the environment.

Hageman feels with the wolf reintroduction, livestock producers are facing unseen realities. "Livestock producers don't want to see their livestock slaughtered (by wolves)."

Due to the Green River Valley depending on public lands, there are issues her family did not have to face in the Ft. Laramie area, where most land is privately held. Tackling the Green River Valley issues are new and interesting to her and Brighton.

"It is critical to extend grazing permits," she said.

Hageman and Brighton attended the GRVCA meetings and banquet. She said they had a ball. She saw some of her college friends at the meetings and enjoyed the banquet immensely.

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