Comments about ‘Home on the Range: Mormon Church is finding new ways to preserve wetlands and wildlife’

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Published: Tuesday, July 23 2013 10:00 p.m. MDT

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FL Cougar

As a native Floridian, I am particularly pleased with the job that Deseret Ranches is doing. It is a widely admired operation in this state.

I am happy that the Church is committed to maintaining and furthering the mission of Deseret Ranches. The Church and the state of Florida will be better off for it.


This is the first article I've ever read about an LDS for profit business. Very interesting. I hope we hear about the other businesses too.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

The Church owns a lot of different branched-off businesses or 'ventures' or what-have-you... MANY of them may be very boring... who knows. Maybe we'll see more, maybe not.

Who wants to read about a Catholic-owned 'paper-hole puncher- factory in Iowa?

No such place exists that I know of (hopefully there is no such place either! lol) - but either way, I'm sure my point was made.

One other concern, these businesses are probably not all run by Church leadership themselves... if at all. They probably aren't hardly... so they might want to not bring them up so that if someone finds an issue with a business they don't say "President Monson, how dare you let hole punchers be made this way!?" - When in reality, he may not even know of that business personally. - This is just what I see as a valid reason to not make it news, or least LDS-related news.

Who knows...

Sugar City, ID

I wish this could be a case study for Stanford and Harvard business schools.

Southwest Utah, UT

Great, interesting article. The photos would have been great, but the flashing commercial ads to the right of the pictures makes them almost impossible to enjoy.

Pocatello, ID

This was a fascinating, well-written article. AND I'd be willing to venture that Pres. Monson is well aware of the workings of the Ranch.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Clearly, the LDS Church has joined the ranks of environmentally responsible institutions in caring for wildlife and wetlands. I wonder what those Mormons who are deep in mental Glenbeckistan think of this.

Wendover, UT

I find this article incredibly interesting! So many communities who are failing due to the restrictive state laws regarding logging and so forth could use this as a model to change the way they do business, and have their cake and eat it too. Drive through small town America to see what is going on. Communities that once thrived are now fading away, or worse yet, turning into a place where wine is the main product, and tourism the only thing keeping them afloat. Amazing information in my personal opinion. Thank you Deseret News, for sharing this with us!


To Voice of Reason:

You can be sure that church leadership is well aware of Deseret Ranches and what goes on there. The church has massive agricultural operations in several states that are major players in their respective areas. Heaven help us if the church forgets the importance of agriculture.

BYU Papa
Cedar Hills, ut

I am so pleased to see Latter Day Saints interested in preserving the environment. I think that we need to do more here in Utah. We need a good program to recycle our waste. Our Landfills are too big and not enough encouragement to save plastics and metals for recycling. People will recycle if the process proves financially rewarding.

Logan, UT


This interesting article isn't brought to you by someone's good graces. We all have to earn a living. Somebody has to pay for what you just enjoyed reading about. Hence, the ads.

@A Voice of Reason

No idea what your point was. Sorry.

Eagle Mountain, UT

codger; I did not find the adds distracting at all. Perhaps you could tape a piece of paper over the right 1/3rd of your monitor.

voice or reason;
Huh! I think there is a point your trying to make but as they say in vegas, "your trying to do it the hard way".

I am extremely proud of the LDS church efforts like this. I am sure most members are aware of only a small percentage of the churches operations that benefit so many people. The wildlife angle is also very interesting.

The Taxman
Los Angeles, CA

This story raises many questions, but I'll start with two simple ones. I hope people don't take these questions the wrong way. I am not trying to tear-down, just understand.

First, "LDS Inc.", owns 469 square miles of Florida. How many square miles in other states are owned and what goes on there?

Second, We are told our forefathers fled across the plains with only the clothes on their backs. Yet, a century later, we were buying up much land across the country to conduct for-profit businesses. I don't recall seeing the "land/business investment" line on a tithing slip in the 1950's or at any other time. Where did the money come from to buy that first for-profit business?

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

I made two points, and they weren't really all that hard to follow. I might not have worded either as well as I could have... but the points weren't hard to understand.

1) In reply to another comment, not all Church owned businesses merit news- so there are reasons we don't see this kind of article in the news very often.

2) That any person in Church leadership probably doesn't know of every last business the Church owns. I don't know how many, but say it was 1000 businesses- I wouldn't expect anyone to know about all of them, details, etc. - Also, that the Church might not want a lot of attention to certain businesses as people often find whatever way to judge the church they can... and if some potato farm did something wrong (or any other business) that it might be used to reflect on how the Church does it's dealings, etc.

Hopefully I made a bit more sense here... if not, oh well.

Fishers, IN

Florida definitely does not seem like a traditional environment for cattle ranching, but clearly that doesn't matter, since so many big ranches exist there.

Somewhere in Time, UT

The Church has ALWAYS been a wise steward of whatever it has stewardship over. It's not really an "environmentalist" thing and has very little to do with the current hysteria about being "green." The Church has always execised good management for the good of the Children of God.

This is a private operation and the decisions are made privately. You see, individuals and organizations CAN make wise decisions. Wouldn't it be nice if the government would allow everyone to work that way. Conservatives are in favor of wise stewardship and responsible management of resources. It's when left-wing, climate-change hysteria takes over that conservatives object.

Bluffdale, UT

The Taxman - probably donated by the LDS Church - and taxes were paid as it because it became a for profit business. Why does it matter to you or are you trying to find the church at fault here? I assure you - as the church as a league of lawyers keeping its workings within the law - whatever they did was perfectly legal and above board. If not the IRS would be all over it!

The Taxman
Los Angeles, CA

Cats said, "The Church has ALWAYS been a wise steward of whatever it has stewardship over."

May I respectfully ask you how you know what you're saying is correct? In other
words, are you repeating what you were told, expressing your opinion (passed off as fact), or do you have access to real knowledge about which you speak?

How do you know the businesses owned by the Church make money? How do you know that they aren't strip mining, toxic waste-dumping, and polluting the water (in places other than Florida)?

If you can answer this, then maybe you can also help with the two questions I asked above.

Thank you.

Richland, WA

Mr Taxman: After decades of persecution from the Federal government, the LDS Church had few assets. Over the past century, it has wisely invested its residue above annual operating costs in order to safeguard it and provide long term income to the Church's many charitable and educational activities, including supporting the BYU campuses at levels that keep tuition affordable.

The article was very clear that Deseret Ranches, despite its ownership by the Church, is itself a for-profit business that pays property and income taxes, as well as employing many people, at a time when Florida has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Income at the Ranches is invested in maintaining the natural resources of the land, including water, species habitat, and grazing forage. Only after that is income received by the Church. Everyone benefits from this arrangement. And remember, no Church leader personally profits from any of this.

Deseret Ranches is a living example of the principles taught in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25). The Church is investing the Lord's talent and increasing its value, a wise stewardship of God's creation that blesses everyone.

Richland, WA

My guess is that Kim B. Clark, current president of BYU Idaho and former Dean of the Harvard Business School, is very familiar with Deseret Ranches as a business model, as are other present and former LDS members of that faculty.

Deseret Ranches is a wonderful example of how ownership by a non-profit entity of a land-based business like this can have a long-term view that is interested in preserving ALL of the values of the land, including water, wildlife habitat, recreation, and food production. It can be compared to the Amish and Mennonite views on preserving the productivity of land as a stewardship for which the farmers are accountable to God, and as a matrix within which their communities can be sustained as well.

While some who call themselves "environmentalists" think that the optimum state of nature is land simply abandoned to the random action of nature, we should not forget that the mechanism of "natural selection" is competition for scarce resources and death. If we want to preserve species, we must actively manage habitat and ensure water is sufficient, and no wild species like coyotes is allowed to dominate.

  • 5:44 p.m. July 24, 2011
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