Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Barbed Wire & Sagegrouse
Ranchers…no more need to ride fences ‘cause barbed wire’s a killer according to a research study and some folks want it removed. An ongoing study found that collisions with a relatively short section of barbed-wire fence killed dozens of sage grouse over a seven-month period. This could affect a decision on whether to protect the bird under the Endangered Species Act. Biologists said that quite a few sage grouse are dying as a result of colliding with the thousands of miles of barbed-wire fence crisscrossing the West. Wyoming Game and Fish Department documented 146 instances of finding sage grouse feathers and/or carcasses on or near a 4.7-mile section of barbed-wire fence. Idaho Farm Bureau Range Specialist Wally Butler comments: “You would question finding feathers doesn’t mean the bird’s been injured. I’m an old guy and lose hair on occasion too. I’m sure there’s some truth to it but I’m not so sure about the numbers.” Is this another case of something being black or white…all wrong vs all right. Here’s a shade of gray called compromise. Researchers discovered that placing colored tags on the fence to make the wire more visible seemed to reduce the number of birds killed by about 60 percent. Go here for an audio of this FB report.