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RANCHERS ABUSE PUBLIC LANDS

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In the past couple of days, I have been reading letters in the Forum criticizing environmentalists for trying to do too much for wildlife on public land. They accuse the Democrats of taking away their rights, but it's really not their property either.

The name "public" means everyone. It actually is owned by the state or national government. These letters are written by ranch owners who are too used to using public lands to graze their livestock, and when they are seen as doing something wrong, they cry outrage. I have seen the destruction that cattle leave. They pollute the groundwater and destroy the vegetation and other native species that live there. I could understand the concern if it were private property.I do not mean to say we should eliminate the entire livestock industry in the state. I just think that the government should stop them from using public land.

The Republicans are known for telling us what to do with our land as well. Look at the Alaska oil bill. It was proposed by a Republican from another state. The Republicans had lumber regulated and chopped down the best trees in the Northwest. Not only that, the United States paid for the shipping cost to Japan, and the Japanese paid practically nothing for the lumber.

Ryan Thomas

South Jordan