Letter: It's OK when the invasion is by cows
I'm an elderly woman in my late 70s on a fixed income. Every year cattle ramble through and do damage to my property. I'm told this is open range and I must have specific fencing or it is OK for my privacy to be invaded, my property, garden and animal food damaged and destroyed. Somehow I am responsible for some rancher's cows.
These ranchers lease BLM land to graze their cattle, which is fine with me. Here's the problem: There is no BLM land around me, it's all privately owned. I live on a paved street and I have acreage.
In the past week I have had two bales of hay eaten, my corn, sorghum, watermelons and squash eaten, my young fruit trees damaged and fences broken. I am not strong and able to be chasing cows off my property. I have fencing but not the specific kind they say.
Last evening I was watering my trees from a faucet close to the fence. My hose has a hole in it so there is spray. A herd of cattle came and were doing everything they could to get at the water under the trees and in a small pan under the facet. They were drinking from the spray desperately. They tore at my fence and broke parts of it to get to water. My daughter and I took a plastic trough out and filled it on the other side of the fence to keep them from tearing down the fence.
Where are the ranchers and where is the water for these cows? Why am I responsible for their animals and why aren't they providing water for these wandering cattle? Cows should not be wandering through neighborhoods - this is not what I define as "open range."
We need to change this law so cows and bulls are not wandering our streets when children are waiting for buses. People have a right to their private property, their peace and security, from these animals whose rancher owners profit at our expense. This is not right, it is not safe and I don't have the money to put up bigger better fences or buy extra hay and feed for my mustang and chickens.
Regardless, I have had to hire someone to come in and fix fence. I have had to buy more feed and hay and I have been endangered by large animals.