Thursday, October 02, 2008

Love That Country Living

When I was prosecutor in rural Washington, one of our problems was suburbanites moving out to our corner of the sticks for the "country living," building their house on their 20-acre "ranch," and then incessantly bitching about the agricultural operations going on around them.  The most common beef was that livestock was wandering through the yard and tearing up the carefully manicured bluegrass.  I had one lady call me every day for two weeks screaming, "They're stepping on my Malibu lights!"

Jeff Hawn, CEO of Attachmate in Seattle, has found a solution for this at his "ranch" in Colorado: He invited some friends for a hunt and shot every head of livestock they found on the property.  He's facing criminal charges, and I hope they throw the book at him.

Most of the Western US is open range.  That means that livestock owners don't have to fence their animals in; you have to fence them out.  So fence them out!  If you want to move out to the country, show a little respect for the people who actually have to earn a living out there.  Don't be like Hawn and build a house that cost more than the neighbor's herd and then expect everyone to accommodate you regardless of what the law says just because you're more important than all those hicks.

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