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Fire protection loses out in wilderness ‘land grab’

To the Editor:

The proposed wilderness area in Oregon’s Malheur County, if designated, will lead to the destruction of the very landscape some wish to protect. Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), Keen Footwear, a multimillion dollar Portland company, and others seek such designation.

Wilderness designation will mean very large blocks of land will be denied access to motorized travel, making it nearly impossible for local ranchers to remain viable.Diminished cattle numbers could lead to the undoing of the Owyhee landscape. Whether you agree or disagree with grazing on public lands, the fact is, grazing done correctly, reduces intensity and helps prevent fire. Reduction or elimination of grazing in a short number of years will lead to an overabundance of fine fuels.

Research conducted by rangeland scientists, Davies, Bates, Svejcar and Boyd, “Effects of Long Term Livestock Grazing on Fuel Characteristics in . . .