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Letter: Open ranges put livestock and drivers at risk

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  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    BTW- farmers and ranchers are STILL required to exercise "due diligence" in regards to livestock. Your insurance company can probably fill you in better if you ask them.

    Farmers/ranchers don't (god forbid)want you to hit their livestock any more than you want to!

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 10:33 a.m.

    Several misconceptions here.

    First: Private property rights. When someone owned a piece of property and someone (govt) decides to put a road across it, THEY are responsible for securing the road. Many of the farms/ranches that were criss-crossed back in the 30's, 40's and 50's were put in by the state or with federal $$$. At that time they were required to fence it (as part of the easement process.) MANY times over the years farmers wind up repairing the stock fence so they don't have to wait for the state/federal govt. to do it for them. Its also usually quite easy as long as the problem gets identified early.

    Second: Roads that were built over existing federal ground (BLM, forest service) ground almost always have at least minimum stock fences. If there isn't one; the area probably isn't open to grazing. The BLM also doesn't want their wild horses getting on the road!

    I strongly suspect that someone (unfortunately) who sees or, worst case, hits an animal on the road the animal probably got out of the fence a LONG ways from where it was seen.

    Call local sheriff IMMEDIATELY, if not sooner.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 4:18 a.m.

    Redshirt,
    Many rangeland wildfires occur in areas overrun by cheatgrass, an exotic invasive that burns like gasoline and that cattle don't find very palatable and therefore do a poor job controlling. And cattle have nothing to do with forest fires; that's logging and fire suppression policy. Perhaps you were referring to a study you could share with the rest of us?

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 9, 2012 7:58 p.m.

    Wow, redshirt.

    I guess I can make the argument that we should spend more on education, pre-school and after school programs as well as government paid secondary education and healthcare since they reduce more expensive consequences to society such as incarceration and emergency room care that goes unpaid.

    I'm arguing against hypocrisy from the right. Don't take a government check and then complain about welfare queens and public schools.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 4:51 p.m.

    To "Screwdriver" you can generate revenue for the US government by charging ranchers to graze their cows on public lands, or you can pay more for forest fires when the grasses and such catch fire in a lightning storm during the summer.

    So, which do you think benefits US tax payers more? The government charging the ranchers for grazing rights, and preventing forest fires, or more expensive forest fires?

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 9, 2012 2:49 p.m.

    They feed their cattle n public land and if they don't they feed them subsidized corn - then they vote republican and spout off about welfare queens and people on the dole.

    There are lots of Welfare Queens and 47% that don't pay taxes - it just turns out that most of them are republicans in republican states projecting their own flaws onto others they would like to blame everything on.

    Cut off the AG subsidies! Why would we subsidize inedible feed corn but not perfectly edible broccoli and green beans?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 9, 2012 1:39 p.m.

    Places were cattle were not grazed have a higher rate of fires than cattle. There is such a thing as overgrazing that is when farmers move cattle. Grazing, logging and mining is what helps the land that it is used on. For fenced in of course if you graze there need to keep cattle in. Just a few that always find a way out. Electric fences when power goes out can also be a hazard.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 12:08 p.m.

    I agree. Time for the responsibility to shift to the cattle owner. If you can't keep 'em in, don't have 'em.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    And in other places where cattle graze for almost nothing on public lands, taxpayer dollars are subsidizing ranchers when the Feds build fences for them.

    But it's an ENTITLEMENT they have.

    (Shhh. Saying something like will upset them. Especially if they belong to the Tea Party.)

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 10:03 a.m.

    higv,
    Open range cattle policy in the west is different from farmers keeping livestock fenced in on private lands. Public lands ranchers are not required by law to keep cattle off many roadways crossing BLM and Forest Service lands in the west. That is what the letter writer is referring to.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 9, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    Most farmers do a good job of putting fence up and repairing it. There are some cows however that no matter how green the grass is or clean the water is can't be kept in no matter what. There are some bad farmers out there but for the most part they do what they can to keep there cattle fenced in.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 3:52 a.m.

    The cherry on the sundae is that you are financially liable for any cow you hit, doesn't matter how dark the night or how blind the curve. This shouldn't be surprising, though, as ranching interests are strongly protected in government and revered in culture. Taxpayers subsidize something like 80% of the cost of ranching on public lands, despite their image as rugged independents, and despite the damage they have historically done to rangelands. The best I can say is that it beats suburban sprawl, but that's not saying much.