Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Baaa to sheep in Greenhorn

If you like the no-flowers, trampled-plants look or the romance of sheep dung, sheep stink and lots of bugs, then Greenhorn Gulch is the place for you, because once again the sheep are being allowed to devastate it before we even get to the Fourth of July. You will want to leave Fido at home, though, because he probably isn't much of a match for working sheep dogs, and for that matter, you probably aren't either.

To paraphrase what Rich McIntyre said last week in his guest opinion on the Elkhorn fish kill, private property rights stop at the point at which they adversely affect that which belongs to all of us. The Greenhorn Gulch trailhead is one of the busiest trailheads in the Wood River Valley. It belongs to all of us. The commercial interests of the sheep ranchers in their grazing permits should not be allowed to prevail over the interests of the entire valley at one of its prime recreational sites. Times change, and not withstanding the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, sheep are no longer Ketchum's main source of income¾outdoor recreation is. Sheep aren't allowed to ravage Adams Gulch anymore and they shouldn't be permitted to do so to Greenhorn Gulch or any other of our heavier-used trail systems.

The Forest Service's policy of multi-use is not working at those sites. The times have changed.

Bob Fallowfield


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