Wednesday, 09 November 2016 08:51

Cattle trouble is caused by environmentalists, says writer

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Editor:


In 1941, the federal government expropriated the Suffield Block, purchasing the majority of the land from CPR and Hudson’s Bay Company.
There were 452 residents displaced. Many of these folks did not have the resources or the promise of enough land to support their horses and thus had to leave them behind.
Then fast forward to 1994 when this resulting herd of about 1,200 feral horses were rounded up and removed from the block due to pressure on the base commander by environmentalists. Their complaint was the “hooves” were damaging the grassland ecosystem and certain watering holes and dunes, affecting some species of pond frog in wetland areas of the block.
If they were firm believers in survival of the fittest, they would have let the horses and pond frogs battle it out on their own.
Then in 1997 and 1998, guess what? These same wizards decided to re-introduce “hooves” to the block for grass management in the form of 220 elk against all advice from the people who have lived in the area for 100 years and despite concerns the elk could spread tuberculosis and brucellosis to cattle.
They were promised the herd would be managed and not exceed 800 head, the “carrying capacity” of the block at that time. More lies.
By last year, the elk herd had grown to more than 7,000 head.
The wild horses may have needed culling due to inbreeding, but not total removal and definitely not because of “hoof” damage to grasslands or Kermit the Frog.
Furthermore, horses don’t jump or walk through fences (except at Spruce Meadows) and horses don’t spread disease by overrunning cattle pastures.
This is just another example of the influence of wacky environmentalists on government. The people responsible for these radical decisions have probably never been near a farm or ranch.
If looking after the environment was left to the farmers and ranchers (the original stewards of the land) instead of the millennials who majored in “environmental studies” (and perhaps are still living in their parents’ basement), we would not be dealing with this quarantine.
Instead of the real issues, everyone on campus is worried about “safe zones” and which Halloween costumes can pass the “political correctness” test. These are the future stewards of our land — get used to it.
You can hang this one directly on the ignorance of the environmentalists of the day, a philosophy which continues to be promoted by a current generation of radicals viewing this as their “new religion.”
Gerald Schimpf, Buffalo, Alta.

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