the editor: I get a kick out of OSU’s “Studies.” The latest one (in the Feb. 13 Central Oregonian) sounds like another attempt to make us believe that grazing cattle are compatible with desert streams. If the news release is accurate, it took “four years” and an “interdisciplinary team of scientists and two Pacific Northwest universities and the U.S. Forest Service” to find out that cattle who had access to off-stream water and salt, compared to cattle who had the stream as the only water source, stayed about 50 yards further from the stream between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. (I guess that during the other 18 hours of the day these cattle are hanging out around the stream as usual.) “Careful, accurate measurement of these behaviors hasn’t been done before.” says Tim DelCurto — an Oregon State University range beef cattle scientist. No wonder. Any housewife could have told them that the guys will make fewer trips to the refrigerator in the kitchen if you give them a well-stocked beer cooler and some chips and pretzels on the deck. Who dreams up this stuff? Helen Jones Prineville
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