February 3, 2015

Opinion Mailbox January 31, 2015

There’s lots to think about before bison roam free

Seeing free-roaming bison in Colorado conjures a delightful image, but before proceeding to image realization, the following must be determined.

» 1) Whose property is included in the bison plan? Because most federal land has been fully settled, there’s little so-called “public” land and probably not enough to han...dle bison herds.

» 2) Determine the exact number of “fenced acres” on federal land that’s free of private property ownership.

Why? Bison should remain within fenced acreage in order that they do not damage conjoining private property.

» 3) Identify private property owners on federal land and determine who will justly compensate them for loss of forage/fencing/water.
Why? The federal government already owes millions to private property owners on federal lands. The federal government retains deadbeat status to private property owners because it refuses to pay its debts.

» 4) Who will pay for the seven-foot double reinforced steel fencing required to contain bison? You cannot domesticate a bison. They forever remain “wild” and dangerous. Bison can pivot on their front hooves and crush you in a nanosecond.

» 5) Who will maintain these herds and keep their pastures rotated? It’s known that, unlike a cow, bison will denude a land, and therefore demand constant rotation. It takes a highly skilled wrangler to handle bison. Who will pay their salaries?

Seriously folks, it should be an absolute prerequisite that private property owners have the first consideration, and the final say in this — and any matter that will negatively impact their property.

Roni Bell Sylvester, LaSalle

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