Big game should not be transplanted onto private land before advance written agreements can be negotiated among the Division of Wildlife Resources and other agencies and affected landowners, an official of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation says.
C. Booth Wallentine, executive vice president of the farm bureau, said parties to the agreements should include Wildlife Resources, federal and state land agencies, sportsmen's groups, local officials and landowners."Many big game herds in Utah now rely on private land for much of their winter forage," Wallentine said. "It is unreasonable to expect farmers to continue to feed growing herds of big game without adequate compensation.
"These agreements on herd size and damage payments would relieve much of the conflict over big game," he said.
Wallentine applauded the Division of Wildlife Resources for its efforts to control big game herds where damage to private lands is growing and said hunters and landowners have a mutual interest in assuring big game herds are well managed.
"The farmer and rancher whose land provides habitat for big game is the hunter's best friend. And, with the need for annual harvest of big game to prevent overpopulation, the serious hunter is one of agriculture's best friends."