Marc Lacey writes:
"Free-range cattle roam widely across the West, protected by centuries-old laws that give them the right of way while grazing and force landowners to fence them out. But as urban sprawl has extended into what used to be seemingly endless pasture land, cow-friendly open range laws are under fresh scrutiny, criticized as anachronistic throwbacks to the Wild West days before Interstate highways and tract homes."
Today, cattle are roaming through bedroom communities in freshly-sprouted suburbs, crashing through fences and into gardens, and have even caused deaths as people collide with them in cars.
But while landowners and suburban residents see the free-ranging cattle as a clear nuisance, the ranching community and industry officials feel that changing the law would be devastating to ranchers who are already struggling to get by.