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Cows Not the Problem

September 09, 2004

Re "Hikers in East Bay Parks Have a Beef With Cows," Sept. 6: I believe that public access and cattle grazing can coexist. We have public ranchland here in Cambria that once accommodated both hikers and cattle. Unfortunately, the cattle are gone but the problems persist -- the result of human activity and dogs, not bovines.

Caution, not fear and reaction, is always the best policy around cattle. Incredible as it may sound, I have had a herd of cattle encircle me to fend off aggressive, unleashed dogs. It was the dogs, not the cattle, that were the problem.

Grazing definitely reduces the fire hazard, and cattle can actually enhance the pastoral quality of open space and keep us in touch with California's ranching heritage.

Donald Archer

Cambria

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