EDITORIAL: No one comes out a winner

By Observer editorial September 06, 2013 12:16 pm

The shooting of seven cows off of Glass Hill Road has easily been one of the hottest topics locally. As the story has unfolded, many facets have been unveiled. The situation is a complicated one and involves some very different interests. 


The hardest part about the situation, though, is that no one comes out a winner.

Three cattle owners are dealing with the loss of property with which they make their living. Their riders worked for days to find the trespass cows, only to eventually land on the stench of carcasses.

Dr. Joel Rice, the man arrested in connection with the shooting, doesn’t win here either. He now faces the legal system for his actions and untold repercussions in his personal and professional life.

One person can take responsibility for the shootings, but the blame for the actual trespassing cannot be pinpointed to any one source. And at this point, pointing fingers won’t move the community forward.

We don’t claim to have the answers on how to fix some of these issues, but we think a place to start is with a dialogue. Cattle owner Mark Gomes captured the sentiment best when he said, “I want to set a precedent that ranchers and environmentalists can work together and work out these issues.”

What’s done is done, but growth comes from looking past differences and having an open and honest discussion. Communication, as cliché as it is, is key. Communication between cattle owners and riders, between bicyclists who ride the hills and between those looking to preserve environments important to them.

All these interests are valid and important pieces of Northeastern Oregon, but only by coming together will we find a way for everyone to win.