ELDORADO, Texas — Residents of this small town see a lot of cactus and sagebrush, but they don't see much of their polygamous neighbors.

The 1,700-acre YFZ Ranch is just four miles away from downtown. The only thing on the ranch visible from the main street appears to be the limestone temple off in the distance.

"They stay to themselves. They do their own thing," said Joe Key, owner of BJ's Garage and Wrecker Service.

"They're not a threat at all, except maybe to themselves."

Most people who spoke with the Deseret Morning News Monday said they think police and social workers here in Texas are doing the right thing by removing children from the compound and investigating allegations of abuse.

"I think it's a good thing. There's a lot of underage girls pregnant by older men," said Tammy Daniels.

"They're just baby girls themselves," added Dixie Shore.

Not everyone, though, is convinced. Standing in her kitchen, Shirley Overstreet said she worries about the children and the effects of taking 401 or more of them away from their parents.

"Why are they putting the children through this? They didn't commit any crime!" she said.

"We've got kids at school here that are pregnant, but we don't go there and take all the families out."

Overstreet worries that the ongoing raid at the secluded ranch might trigger even bigger problems.

"I really think something else may happen," she said. "Everyone can be pushed to their limits. And when you mess with someone's children, that's pushing the limits."

She believes "curiosity got the best" of investigators, who were anxious to go inside the ranch and have a look around.

"I was afraid when (the raids) started out it might be like Waco," said Louise Radle. She had her own suggestion for the Texas rangers.

"I think what they need to do is take the men out of there and leave the women and kids alone there so they can be happy."

E-mail: bwest@desnews.com