By George Prentice
No one is accusing anyone of cattle rustling, but an Eastern Oregon rancher says he's alarmed by the loss of two dozen cattle that had been grazing on public land.
The LaGrande Observer reports that the Pine Valley Ranch in Oregon's Baker County traditionally sends its cattle out to graze on public land in the summer and are gathered again in the fall. But the headcount of the cattle didn't add up when the ranch recently ran its herd through a chute for pregnancy testing. Each member of the herd is branded and ear tagged with a computer chip and the allotment came up short by 12 mature cows and 12 calves.
"We are not accusing anyone of anything but it is a significant loss," George Rollins of the Pine Valley Ranch told the Observer.
Ranch owners say their staff have ridden on horseback the nearly 75,000 acres of the East Pine Valley numerous times searching for the cattle but haven't come up with any clues. In the meantime, they're alerting nearby ranchers and the media of their mysterious loss.