Grazing letter didn’t have all the facts

  • Stan Fry's cattle  Staff photo by Ben Conant

Friday, July 20, 2018 3:41PM
Grazing letter didn’t have all the facts

To the editor: 

I would make a good poster boy for Trump’s fake news. I submitted a letter to the editor on Thursday 7/12/18 questioning why the Conservation Commission had rejected Stan Fry’s request to graze cattle on the Cheney field. I didn’t even have half the facts! I would like to apologize for my subtle insinuation that the reason the neighbors and abutters were against cattle grazing was somehow motivated by self interest. They raised the money to buy the field from a developer, and have paid for its annual mowing (less than $2,000/year) for more than 30 years. And we all get to enjoy the results of their efforts. But the ConCom filter is for natural resources. Cattle grazing is high impact, and relies on monoculture – grass.

Instead, the Cheney field is being managed as a meadow, one that hosts a diversity of wildlife, including plants and flowers for pollinators. It is a popular spot for picking blueberries, and cranberries for Thanksgiving. Both like acidic soils. Pasture grasses don’t. And the idea of an electric fence to contain the cattle is not inducive for exploring off the trail with a kid in each hand. I learned that the ConCom decision was unanimous to keep the field as a meadow. I’m grateful for their efforts for a well studied and fair decision.

David Buren