Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Who shot cows dead, on public or private land?
TUCSON -- Cattle are shot in the Reddington Pass area between the Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains east of the city. This is sad for the owners of the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, who are generally decent people who support conservation of Saguaro National Park.
Too bad cattle can stomp and kill baby saguaros and the overall desert web of life, but that is another story. The Star article fails to say if this happened on private or public land, which is important information.
This photo from the Star article shows a dead cow next to an overgrazed mud hole. Perhaps the shooters were hunters disgusted by the condition of the landscape so hammered by cattle and lacking of game? Or they could be Bud Light swilling yahoos out shooting anything.
Either way, the shooting is not justified, and is especially bad if it happened on private lands. Also it's clear the Reddington Pass area still has wreckreation and irresponsible shooting problems.
All must remember that livestock owners have an animal husbandry responsibility to monitor their herds. But this is not done well on most western ranches, many of which are mostly on public lands. I'm not sure that happened in this case, but it's possible. Yes, it is hard work to control and watch your livestock daily, and ranch 'guests' may not be very good at it, but not doing it leaves cattle vulnerable to attack.
The livestock industry and Bush/Cheney, Inc. would rather have people shooting wolves, although this may not be the view of TVGR owners.
As urban sprawl creeps close to ranches there will be more problems, as the folks at the TVGR will confirm. Just as Republican Pima County Supervisor Ann Day recently said, "Arizona isn't cotton, copper and cattle anymore."
But Arizona still has a lot of guns, and people who like to shoot them at nearly anything.