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Parks or cattle fields?

Ralph Adams Berkeley
Saturday November 16, 2002

To the Editor: 


It was with great dismay that I read the article (Daily Planet, Nov. 12) stating that the East Bay Regional Park District intends to use cattle as a “resource management tool” at the Black Diamond Regional Preserve in Antioch. The stated goals of grazing to achieve “fire prevention and to benefit plant and animal life” are just ridiculous. Homes in such fire prone habitat can be protected only by being constructed of the proper materials and having all brush and fuel cleared back 30 feet from the building. If those things are not done then it makes no difference what the park does to control fire. If they are done, then the park can burn any time and not cause a problem. The only plant and animal lives that are likely to benefit are algae, E. Coli and the noxious weeds spread through the earth disturbed by cattle hooves. 

People using the parks with their dogs that weigh five to 100 pounds must use the mutt mitts provided by the park to clean up after their pets or risk a fine. Why does a cattle rancher not have to clean up after his or her 1500 pound cows? Is it just because they don’t make a Mutt Mitt that big? 

Why is East Bay Regional Park District allowed to purchase land with public tax dollars just to turn it over to private ranchers making private profit, ruining the ecology and destroying the best public use of these lands. 


Ralph Adams