AAA Dagget Peaks“Dan Dagget is a ‘must-hear’ for anyone who cares about this magnificent land that we inhabit. Whether you are a rancher, environmentalist, farmer, gardener, nature lover, meat eater, or vegan, Dan’s message of sharing, healing and action is as good as public speaking gets.

Courtney White, Executive Director , The Quivira Coalition, Santa Fe, New Mexico

 In 24 years of keynotes at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Dan Dagget’s presentation at the 2008 Gathering was the best we’ve ever had.” 

Waddie Mitchell, cowboy poet and one of the founders of the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada.


When Dan Dagget moved west to Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1980, one of the first things he did was become involved as an environmental activist. Dagget worked with a variety of groups, some of which he originated, to designate wilderness, increase protection for mountain lions and black bears, and he helped initiate a campaign to ban uranium mining in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon. His involvement in that latter campaign included helping to organize some of the first direct actions of Earth First!. In 1992 he was designated one of the 100 top grass roots activists in the United States by the Sierra Club.

Over time Dagget came to focus mainly on issues involving the rangelands of the West and the issue most relevant to them — livestock grazing. He wrote two books on the topic Beyond the Rangeland Conflict Toward a West That Works (which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize) and Gardeners of Eden, Rediscovering Our Importance to Nature.

“Remaining just as concerned as I ever have been about the mountains, canyons, rivers, and wide open spaces that have been my home now for 34 years,” Dagget writes, “I have continued to keep track of the areas I made such a big deal about as a wilderness advocate and crusader for “healthy ecosystems.” As a result, I have something to report that may surprise you. It certainly surprised me.”

The surprise is, according to Dagget, the problems purportedly caused by grazing haven’t gone away even where grazing has. In fact, he says, they have become worse, so much worse that a significant portion of Western rangelands may be in worse condition today than they were when the campaign to protect them was at its hottest. What is different, however, is that the responsibility for the deteriorated condition of the western range has shifted — reversed, in fact. Now, says Dagget, it is protection and regulation and the advocates of those policies that are causing the most significant damage to the rangelands of the West.

Dagget supports this observation by presenting old photographs of rangeland while it was being grazed compared with re-photographs of those exact same locations after several (as many as 80) years of protection. In addition he compares some of the “bad” photographs that were used to make the case against grazing in the old “cattle-free” days with photographs of damage that has occurred while land has been protected. You’ll be surprised to see which damage is greater.

Today, Dagget works to create a conservative environmentalism intended to make all sides in environmental issues accountable based on the results, rather than the political correctness, of their actions.

Dan Dagget

Books and Presentations

Dan Dagget’s newest book — Gardeners of Eden, Rediscovering Our Importance To Nature has been called “the most important environmental manifesto since Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic,” It is available via the University of Nevada Press at 877- 682-6657 and or at

His first book, Beyond The Rangeland Conflict, Toward a West That Works was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and has been called one of the classics dealing with environmental issues of the American West.

A Partial List of Dan Dagget’s Presentations:

• 2015 North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition Winter Workshop
• 2014 Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts Annual Meeting
• 2014 Nevada Association of Conservation Districts Annual Meeting
• 2014 Grazing and Gaia, Trappings of the American West, Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff
• 2012 Society for Range Management, Arizona Section Annual Conference, Tucson
• 2010 EquiKnox Lecture at Knox College Galesburg, Illinois
• 2010 Congress on Western Rangelands — concluding keynote
• 2009 Working Landscapes Seminars at several venues in Northern California
• 2008 Keynote at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada
• The 2006 Sun Valley Sustainability Conference — keynote
• The State of the Rocky Mountain West at Colorado College— keynote
• The First National Conference on Grazing Lands— keynote
• Bioneers — keynote and workshops
• Quivira Coalition Annual Conference — several times
• California Rangeland Conservation Association— keynote
• California Native Grasslands Coalition— keynote
• Society for Range Management, Arizona Section Annual Conference — keynote
• National Woolgrowers Association — keynote
• Sierra Nevada Deep Ecology Institute
• The Nature Conservancy
• Sierra Club
• The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association
• The Arizona Cattle Growers
• The Garden Clubs of America
• People for the West
• Universities of Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Boise State, Colorado State. Chico State (CA), University of California, Berkeley, Cal Poly, Humboldt State, Northern Arizona University, Colorado College
• The Thatcher School at Ojai, California
• And many more.

Contact Dan Dagget via


About Dan Dagget

I’m an environmentalist, and I’m a conservative. I didn’t start out that way, in fact I started out as an environmental activist, a fairly radical one. I was involved in some of the earliest actions of Earth First, was designated one of the top 100 grass roots activists by the Sierra Club, and helped put together ad hoc groups in Ohio and Arizona directed at specific issues—controlling coal surface mining in Ohio and protecting mountain lions in Arizona. I changed my “environmental politics” because I came to believe that mainstream environmentalists—the great majority of whom are liberals—are more interested in expanding the role of government than in fixing what’s wrong with the environment. Or in sustaining or enhancing what’s right. And because liberals operate by, within, and through the government to control an ever greater portion of our lives—where we get our health care, what kind of cars and food we can buy, how we dispose of our trash, raise our children, etc.—any increase in government power is an increase in their power. Liberals, in other words, measure success, environmental and otherwise, in terms of their ability to control more of the environment (and therefore of us) via government regulation. Conservatism is the home of the free market, of rewarding people for producing outcomes, not applying policies. What does that have to do with the environment? I know a rancher who has managed the habitat on his ranch to such a state of health that it hosts one of the largest known populations of an endangered bird (a flycatcher). An adjacent preserve of similar habitat hosts none. Leftist environmentalists have lobbied to remove the flycatcher habitat from the rancher’s management and increase the size of the preserve. A conservative environmentalism would reward the rancher for his success and empower him to increase the number of flycatchers even more. Does the conservative approach bring problems? Of course it does, but so does the liberal approach—just ask those flycatchers. If you’re interested in producing results rather than regulations, you’ve come to the right place.
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