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FW Student with Questions for Cattle Ranchers

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dojune

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Hey everyone,

My name is Julia and I'm a 4th year student majoring in fisheries and wildlife sciences. For my capstone class, my group is working on a paper about how agricultural producers balance between food production with wildlife conservation. We are looking for cattle ranchers in Oregon (primarily Eastern Oregon) that are able to answer ~10 of our questions through phone or email this week Jan. 10th - 16th.

Thank you! :)
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Hope you get a good response.
I'm on the dry prairie of Saskatchewan but we try our best to balance grazing needs and protection for Species at Risk.
 

dojune

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I am in Eastern Oregon. Message me your questions.
Hi there, these are the questions we have. You can skip any if you do not feel like answering.

Production Questions
1. What are you producing (dairy/meat) and how long have you been doing this?
2. What was on the land before you started (species or type of vegetation)?
3. How has this industry changed since you started?
4. What changes will you make in the future for your production?

Wildlife Questions
5. What wildlife do you see on your property and has this changed through time?
6. Are there any species you enjoy seeing and are there any that are a nuisance?
7. How do you manage for this and do you have losses due to these species?
8. Do you consider wildlife a net gain or loss?
9. Would you be willing to make changes that would improve wildlife habitat?
 

redrobin

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Julia , do you think we have a responsibility to care for wildlife? If so, why?
 

dojune

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Julia , do you think we have a responsibility to care for wildlife? If so, why?
Hi redrobin, being from the city I don't know what ranchers have to deal with, so I can't say much. I would assume there's no time/money to care for wildlife. Their income comes from the cows and having a gray wolf on the property is conflicting for wildlife management and the ranchers. That's all I know, I do think there's some responsibility, which is engaging with the wildlife management and try to meet somewhere in the middle. From your point, what do you think?
 

redrobin

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I’m going with your thoughts. If you think that we’re all responsible for wildlife, nature, the ecosystem, clean water etc. , I’ll pay what you pay and I’ll spend as much time working toward a better ( nature) as you will. If you think you will do what you have the time and means to do , then I will as well. If you think the other person has a responsibility to promote (nature), well, so do I.
What I don’t care for is the attitude that since I’m a wealthy land owner and privileged to do what I do , I should do what someone else thinks I should.
Thanks for visiting with us Julia. I have 5 daughters and 2 granddaughters so young ladies like yourself have my attention.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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It's ecological Good and services If there is a public good for us to provide habitat for wildlife figure out that it's worth and if we produce it pay us for it. If it's for the public good the public should share in the cost/
 

dojune

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It's ecological Good and services If there is a public good for us to provide habitat for wildlife figure out that it's worth and if we produce it pay us for it. If it's for the public good the public should share in the cost/
Okay this sounds reasonable. If the system were in place where you can easily transfer your land use rights (or some of it) for wildlife conservation, you would want compensation from a tax that the public would pay for; is this something you would opt for?
 

dojune

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I’m going with your thoughts. If you think that we’re all responsible for wildlife, nature, the ecosystem, clean water etc. , I’ll pay what you pay and I’ll spend as much time working toward a better ( nature) as you will. If you think you will do what you have the time and means to do , then I will as well. If you think the other person has a responsibility to promote (nature), well, so do I.
What I don’t care for is the attitude that since I’m a wealthy land owner and privileged to do what I do , I should do what someone else thinks I should.
Thanks for visiting with us Julia. I have 5 daughters and 2 granddaughters so young ladies like yourself have my attention.
Hi redrobin, I agree with you, it should be an even cost to everybody regardless of wealth. I dislike those who influence a lot through social media but don't put in their share of work and commitment; this shows that they don't understand the real issues that are happening.
 

redrobin

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Hi redrobin, I agree with you, it should be an even cost to everybody regardless of wealth. I dislike those who influence a lot through social media but don't put in their share of work and commitment; this shows that they don't understand the real issues that are happening.
There’s another , more traditional idea that I like better and that idea is capitalism. It’s basically the exchange of money for a service you desire. If you want me to grow quail so you can hunt them, pay me enough and I will. It’s the best system Julia. Taxes exerted on everyone ( for the common good) is communism.
Btw wealth also breeds nature conservation. I still need the money but not as bad as when I was younger. I set aside 25 square city blocks of different ground ever year and don’t maintain it or use it in any way. I like how it mellows the ground and promotes wildlife. It also soaks up more moisture I think.
One last thing, if you’re not familiar with ranching and farming without a m lifetime of observation , you lack a cognitive database of any size. When I was you’re age , you couldn’t see a deer in a full day of trying. Now they’re everywhere. Raccoons are so plentiful, through disease I guess and inbreeding their average size is MUCH smaller. Less people hunt them so they abound. I could go on but ....

I’ve set aside my 25 square city blocks for the last few years so you’re behind Julia. It’s not in some conservation plan paid for by tax dollars. I own it and don’t use it and no one made me or paid me. I pick a new piece of ground every year.
 
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webfoot

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What makes you think we need to "set aside" land for wildlife conservation? That list I sent you of animals I have seen were all seen on land which is actively managed as a cattle ranch. Yesterday morning as I went out with the feed truck to feed the cows there was 4 deer bedded down in the same field where I am feeding 60 cows. Yesterday evening as I was coming home there out in a hay field there was about 50 cows eating on the regrowth out in that field. There was also a dozen deer eating in that same field. And those deer are easy to see while driving by. If one takes some time to slow down and look you will find a lot of other wildlife out there.
 

dojune

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There’s another , more traditional idea that I like better and that idea is capitalism. It’s basically the exchange of money for a service you desire. If you want me to grow quail so you can hunt them, pay me enough and I will. It’s the best system Julia. Taxes exerted on everyone ( for the common good) is communism.
Btw wealth also breeds nature conservation. I still need the money but not as bad as when I was younger. I set aside 25 square city blocks of different ground ever year and don’t maintain it or use it in any way. I like how it mellows the ground and promotes wildlife. It also soaks up more moisture I think.
One last thing, if you’re not familiar with ranching and farming without a m lifetime of observation , you lack a cognitive database of any size. When I was you’re age , you couldn’t see a deer in a full day of trying. Now they’re everywhere. Raccoons are so plentiful, through disease I guess and inbreeding their average size is MUCH smaller. Less people hunt them so they abound. I could go on but ....

I’ve set aside my 25 square city blocks for the last few years so you’re behind Julia. It’s not in some conservation plan paid for by tax dollars. I own it and don’t use it and no one made me or paid me. I pick a new piece of ground every year.
I 100% agree with the benefits of capitalism, but it falls short when immediate demand is not equal to long run supply. Think of protecting an ecosystem where it supplies much more value in the future but cost money now. The benefit enjoyed by everyone should be payed by everyone; like taxes pay for roads that you and everyone use, by your definition, does this fall under communism?

You setting aside 25 square city blocks is a wonderful contribution. Bully you for doing it on your own without the helpful hand of public policy. However, there are many people not like you and may need more help convincing and showing the benefit of these practices.
 

dojune

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What makes you think we need to "set aside" land for wildlife conservation? That list I sent you of animals I have seen were all seen on land which is actively managed as a cattle ranch. Yesterday morning as I went out with the feed truck to feed the cows there was 4 deer bedded down in the same field where I am feeding 60 cows. Yesterday evening as I was coming home there out in a hay field there was about 50 cows eating on the regrowth out in that field. There was also a dozen deer eating in that same field. And those deer are easy to see while driving by. If one takes some time to slow down and look you will find a lot of other wildlife out there.
Nothing makes me think we need to set aside land, I was simply clarifying someone else's response.
 

redrobin

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I 100% agree with the benefits of capitalism, but it falls short when immediate demand is not equal to long run supply. Think of protecting an ecosystem where it supplies much more value in the future but cost money now. The benefit enjoyed by everyone should be payed by everyone; like taxes pay for roads that you and everyone use, by your definition, does this fall under communism?

You setting aside 25 square city blocks is a wonderful contribution. Bully you for doing it on your own without the helpful hand of public policy. However, there are many people not like you and may need more help convincing and showing the benefit of these practices.
I don’t set aside as a contribution, I do it because it is mine and I want to.

I can tell you are very intelligent and eager to set the discourse to bring about change.

Make sure you know what you’re doing when you set out to change my ecosystem.

I’ve witnessed masses of people with a big heart and a small data base of actual hands on knowledge. Some government agency came and looked at one of my pieces of real estate (at my request) . There is a long meadow I guess you’d call it that adjoins a steep hillside, I wanted 2 waterers in the meadow, one to water the meadow and one to water the hillside . The one for the hillside I wanted in the meadow because cattle wouldn’t erode the ground as bad going to and from the waterer. I was going to fence the hillside separate and just use it when the ground was firm. The government agent said the waterers had to be 1/8 or 1/4 mile apart or some such distance. Because of the nature of the terrain it would put the tank on the bottom of the slope. He said we could easily fix the problem by angling the waterers in the meadow so one was farther down the meadow and would be the minimum distance apart. He also wanted me to put woven tires and cloth along a creek to prevent erosion. I explained to him I had already picked up all the unsightly dumps on my property and I sure didn’t want tires along my creek. He also said he would pay me for a 50 foot set back on the creek so the banks would grow brush. I told him me and the men before me had cleared the brush for pasture and I sure wasn’t interested in letting it grow back up.
 
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Faster horses

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I don’t set aside as a contribution, I do it because it is mine and I want to.

I can tell you are very intelligent and eager to set the discourse to bring about change.

Make sure you know what you’re doing when you set out to change my ecosystem.

I’ve witnessed masses of people with a big heart and a small data base of actual hands on knowledge. Some government agency came and looked at one of my pieces of real estate (at my request) . There is a long meadow I guess you’d call it that adjoins a steep hillside, I wanted 2 waterers in the meadow, one to water the meadow and one to water the hillside . The one for the hillside I wanted in the meadow because cattle wouldn’t erode the ground as bad going to and from the waterer. I was going to fence the hillside separate and just use it when the ground was firm. The government agent said the waterers had to be 1/8 or 1/4 mile apart or some such distance. Because of the nature of the terrain it would put the tank on the bottom of the slope. He said we could easily fix the problem by angling the waterers in the meadow so one was farther down the meadow and would be the minimum distance apart. He also wanted me to put woven tires and cloth along a creek to prevent erosion. I explained to him I had already picked up all the unsightly dumps on my property and I sure didn’t want tires along my creek. He also said he would pay me for a 50 foot set back on the creek so the banks would grow brush. I told him me and the men before me had cleared the brush for pasture and I sure wasn’t interested in letting it grow back up.
Government people that don't know, telling us what they don't know.

Rancher friend had BLM, (that's Bureau of Land Management for those who don't know) employee come to his remote ranch to measure the grass. There had been a fire through there recently and the rancher told him, "there is no grass growning there yet." The employee went to the BLM ground anyway. Soon he was back. Rancher said, "could you find any grass?" "No", the BLM guy said. "I forgot my scissors."

Kinda off topic, but wanted to share how government employees think....or not.
 

webfoot

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Julia, please don't take this as a personal attack because it certainly is not intended to be one. In fact this might be something to take back to your class as a topic which needs discussion.

More and more I see young people who are city raised with virtually no outdoor experience who go to college and study wildlife, agriculture, ecology, etc. They listen to lectures from professors who have spent their life in academia. They read book written by people whose opinions agree with those of the professor who assigned them as part of their class. After graduation they find employment working for a government agency. Then they come and try to tell people with a life time of living and working in the outdoors how things should be done. It is not an easy pill to swallow. And for those young students / government employees there is a whole lot more to be learned by listening those people who have spent their life in the outdoors than there is sitting in an academic situation.
 

dojune

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Julia, please don't take this as a personal attack because it certainly is not intended to be one. In fact this might be something to take back to your class as a topic which needs discussion.

More and more I see young people who are city raised with virtually no outdoor experience who go to college and study wildlife, agriculture, ecology, etc. They listen to lectures from professors who have spent their life in academia. They read book written by people whose opinions agree with those of the professor who assigned them as part of their class. After graduation they find employment working for a government agency. Then they come and try to tell people with a life time of living and working in the outdoors how things should be done. It is not an easy pill to swallow. And for those young students / government employees there is a whole lot more to be learned by listening those people who have spent their life in the outdoors than there is sitting in an academic situation.
Hi webfoot, no personal attack taken. There are a good amount of students that grew up in rural areas from an agricultural background and also students that know a lot about game species. I'm the odd ball here but I do have outdoor experience :p I'm more interested in genetics and marine life, not wildlife management. I know nothing about the rural community and I am here to ask about the ranchers point of view to have a better understanding!
 

dojune

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I don’t set aside as a contribution, I do it because it is mine and I want to.

I can tell you are very intelligent and eager to set the discourse to bring about change.

Make sure you know what you’re doing when you set out to change my ecosystem.

I’ve witnessed masses of people with a big heart and a small data base of actual hands on knowledge. Some government agency came and looked at one of my pieces of real estate (at my request) . There is a long meadow I guess you’d call it that adjoins a steep hillside, I wanted 2 waterers in the meadow, one to water the meadow and one to water the hillside . The one for the hillside I wanted in the meadow because cattle wouldn’t erode the ground as bad going to and from the waterer. I was going to fence the hillside separate and just use it when the ground was firm. The government agent said the waterers had to be 1/8 or 1/4 mile apart or some such distance. Because of the nature of the terrain it would put the tank on the bottom of the slope. He said we could easily fix the problem by angling the waterers in the meadow so one was farther down the meadow and would be the minimum distance apart. He also wanted me to put woven tires and cloth along a creek to prevent erosion. I explained to him I had already picked up all the unsightly dumps on my property and I sure didn’t want tires along my creek. He also said he would pay me for a 50 foot set back on the creek so the banks would grow brush. I told him me and the men before me had cleared the brush for pasture and I sure wasn’t interested in letting it grow back up.
Right, you can do whatever you want to do with your land because it's literally yours!! I'm not the person to find a job to manage people's land, that's not my career path. Even if I choose to do so, I don't have the knowledge and that would take yearrrs to learn and experience.
 

redrobin

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Thanks for letting us converse with you. We don’t get an attentive ear very often. We’re like the Indians. Our people were many, now they’re few.
 

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