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Work with, not against

For many Baker County ranchers, the ability to graze their livestock on public lands is essential to their business.

It’s natural, then, that ranchers get nervous when they think their grazing privileges are in jeopardy.

But livestock owners will fare better if they maintain a cordial relationship with the BLM and other land-managing agencies rather than an antagonistic one.

Law gets rid of trash

We like any piece of legislation that appeals to everyone except people who have sexually abused children.

Such is the case with House Bill 2062. Every one of Oregon’s 30 state senators or 60 representatives voted for the bill.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski said he will sign the bill into law. It takes effect July 1, 2010.

Move the wolves

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has proved it can trap wolves.

Now the agency needs to show that its initial success was no fluke.

The wolf situation in Eastern Oregon has changed considerably since the rubber-jawed foothold trap nabbed a 2-year-old male wolf near Keating Valley on May 3.

Gas tax inflates

The Oregon Legislature had a chance to, if not protect, at least insulate its eastside constituents from a tax hike.

In depressingly typical fashion, lawmakers seem intent on wasting that chance.

Singing state’s praises

Critics have pounced, predictably, on the Oregon Legislature for considering a bill that would change the state song.

But we don’t mind. We haven’t seen any evidence that the bill to replace “Oregon, My Oregon” with “No Place Under the Sun Like Oregon” is diverting lawmakers from more vital matters.

Respect the gavel

Baker City Mayor Dennis Dorrah needs help.

Dorrah, who was elected to the largely ceremonial job by his fellow councilors in January, tried awfully hard to prevent the Council’s April 28 meeting from devolving into a shouting match.

He did pretty well, considering the circumstances.

Dollars, not words

We’ve read a lot of words recently from Washington, D.C., about how vital it is to restore the public forests, and the economy, of Northeastern Oregon.

What we haven’t seen are dollars.

Which makes all the talk, as the saying goes, pretty cheap.

Swine flu: Not all bad

For all that’s been said against swine flu, the virus has at least one good thing going for it.

It has scared people into washing their hands and covering their mouths when they cough.

This, of course, is sound advice under any circumstances.

Baker’s beef bounty

Beef brings more dollars to Baker County than any other agricultural commodity.

But until recently, local beef was conspicuously absent from one place: the menus of the county’s public schools.

Baker County ranchers intend to correct that oversight.

Silence on the lambs

Wolves have killed 24 lambs and one calf this month in Baker County.

Livestock raising is the biggest industry in Baker County.

The country is mired in a recession.

The Oregon Legislature’s response to this unsettling equation?


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