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Letter: Open ranges put livestock and drivers at risk

Published: Sunday, Dec. 9 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

In this photo from Aug. 1, 2012, cattle belonging to Todd Eggerling of Martell, Neb., graze in thin pasture.

Nati Harnik, AP

Enlarge photo»

As I drive back to school from my hometown of Delta, Utah, there is almost no question I will suddenly encounter a herd of cows on the road somewhere along my route. These herds are usually far from the warning signs and it is almost impossible to determine where they will be.

In the state of Utah there are open range laws that give ranchers the right to let their livestock roam freely along rural roadways. These laws are allowing dangerous hazards on roads that have and will cause serious accidents.

Now, this isn't as big of an issue in areas where ranchers are required to fence in their livestock; however, there are areas in Utah that do not require such things. Yes, these areas are in rural regions, but does that mean just because there is a smaller population in an area we can put those people at a greater risk of an accident?

I propose we review the open range laws in Utah, keeping in mind the lives that are put at stake letting these animals roam freely with no restraint. No one deserves to lose a loved one because someone else was careless to keep livestock off public roads.

Kellie Killpack

Cedar City

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