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Local Ranchers Want Independent Rangeland Technician To Assess Grazing Allotments

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  • Local ranchers want to hire their own rangeland technician to analyze the condition of grazing allotments rather than relying on public-lands agencies’ studies.
  • Voters in the sprawling Cortez Fire District will have to go to the polls literally Tuesday if they want to have a say in choosing board members.

Local ranchers want to hire their own rangeland technician to analyze the condition of grazing allotments rather than relying on public-lands agencies’ studies. On Monday, Montezuma County Commissioner James Lambert said he met last week with members of the Rangeland Stewardship Committee, a local ranchers’ group. They believe hiring a full-time technician would benefit the entire area, not just permittees, because it would bring about healthier rangeland and more cattle production. Commission Chair Larry Don Suckla asked who would pay, and Lambert said the ranchers thought Montezuma and Dolores counties should, because they could do a better job of hiring someone. Suckla said the Southwestern Colorado Livestock Association should be involved. Lambert said he would suggest the Rangeland Stewardship Committee make a proposal that would include the cattlemen sharing the cost.

Voters in the sprawling Cortez Fire District will have to go to the polls literally Tuesday if they want to have a say in choosing board members. Four hopefuls are running for three seats on the board, and there is no mail-in voting. Incumbents Lori Johnson and Orly Lucero, and challenger Rodney Branson, are vying for two four-year terms. Incumbent Buck Woodman is seeking a two-year term unopposed. The election will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the fire station at 30 North Ash Street in Cortez.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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