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FW Student with Questions for Cattle Ranchers

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webfoot

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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!
I have 8 credits in Marine Biology. Not my major or anything, it was a science class available in a time slot I had. Interesting subject. I learned enough to realize that I don't know anything about it.

I will echo what Red Robin. It is nice to have someone who is studying a subject which can affect us stop in and chat. There is actually a wealth of knowledge here.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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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?
The government can declare species threatened or endangered. If they can legislate there must be a value. I'm sure producers can provide the habitat cheaper then government employees.
I have been in a program where my land was assessed and I was payed for the habitat i provided and I did not change my management to qualify .I graze cattle for a living they live in concert with wildlife.
 

webfoot

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The original question said you were interested in eastern Oregon ranches. Take a look at the geographic size of the counties in eastern Oregon and the population. Baker County which I live in is bigger than the state of Delaware and only has about 16,000 people. About 10,000 of those people live in Baker City. That leaves a lot of open space for wildlife. Harney County is bigger than any of the 7 smallest states and only has about 7,000 people half of which live in Burns. The biggest reason there is wildlife on ranches is there aren't any people.
 

leanin' H

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I agree with Webfoot wholeheartedly!!!! In Utah, there has been a huge problem with algae in Utah Lake. Lots and lots of folks blame it on high nitrogen levels coming from farm fields around the lake. What makes that argument laughable is the simple fact that the vast majority of real estate around the lake is no longer agricultural. It’s subdivision after subdivision. Guess who over fertilizes their lawns???? Guess who washed their driveways into the storm system which ends up in the lake? People create most of the problems for wildlife. Highway fatalities, encroachment on winter range by urbanization, destruction of critical habitat by electric transmission lines, roads and off-road recreation are just the start of the list. Ranchers and farmers provide countless benefits for wildlife. Anytime a government official wants to partner with me I quickly decline. The only thing worse for wildlife than people is the government. I love wild things and am happy they benefit from my stewardship of the land, private and public!!! But I have zero interest for having the government step in and make decisions for me because of something learned from a text book. Five generations of caring for the land and grass and water is much better in my world. I’ll always listen to what folks have to say. But the conversation ends when the same courtesy is not extended to my experience. I wish you well in your quest dojune. But you are going to really build relationships of trust with ranchers in order to get a true measure of how much we actually do to benefit wildlife. And as long as being involved with local, state and federal agencies come with red tape and endlessly long stings attached you will find it and uphill battle in my part of the world. Good luck
 

redrobin

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Dojune has left the building. Perhaps I was too strong. More likely she comes from a different planet and can’t really comprehend the one I live in. I’m sure the reverse is also true. The fear of a universe where farmers and ranchers and such Are actually destroying the environment must be overwhelming. Especially since she never did get to see our world before we destroyed it.
 

webfoot

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I sent her a PM answering her questions. One of the questions was what species you have on your ranch. I few years ago the wife and I started keeping track of the different animals we see. The list is pretty long. About 50 different species and that doesn't count song birds. She was pretty amazed that there was that much diversity on a working ranch. And the idea that we have that much wildlife without setting aside land for them was completely foreign to her.
 

redrobin

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I sent her a PM answering her questions. One of the questions was what species you have on your ranch. I few years ago the wife and I started keeping track of the different animals we see. The list is pretty long. About 50 different species and that doesn't count song birds. She was pretty amazed that there was that much diversity on a working ranch. And the idea that we have that much wildlife without setting aside land for them was completely foreign to her.
Colleges have made significant money creating crises that only exist in a classroom and providing fixes that can only be gathered through higher education.
 

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