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Why wasn't the mountain biker charged with livestock harrassment?

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  • Why wasn't the mountain biker charged with livestock harrassment?

    I thought a gaurd dogs job was to keep intruders out of the flock/herd and were exempt from dog bite laws.


    If this is not set straight livestock owners will not have any say at all.

    FWIW-I think that the mountain biker should be put on a strict vegan diet for life. Not a bite of meat, a sip of milk or even an egg-ever! Raising livestock is hard and the ranchers are not getting much respect.

  • #2
    That definitly isn't right. I can see why the dogs attacked. All they say was something big and fast coming hurdling down the hill at the sheep. The race organizers should be the ones getting fined or something since had they just told the farmer/rancher the whole thing could have been avoided.

    Bears do the exact thing in the mountains if surprised by bikers or joggers ( and ate killed for it but thats another issue).

    Sad situation all the way around.. dogs just doing what they were bred and taught to do.

    A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!


    • #3
      So did the dogs end up getting put down? I read it as the farmer would rather have them destroyed then have to be tied up for the rest of their lives?

      I always try to be open minded but i've been rubbed the wrong way soooo many times by mountain bikers. Many of them (but certainly not all) have this elitist attitude that they own whatever area they are currently biking on and they don't have to have any regard for anyone they come across.

      Then again I grew up and live in the Fair Hill area in which the bikers have been waging a war to decrease the amount of horse related activities the Natural Resource area is used for. (the Natural Resource area that was donated to the govt by the DuPonts for Equine use...)
      http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


      • #4
        Its a tragic incident for all concerned. Why didn't anyone go after the moron that didn't inform the rancher that the race was scheduled? I think the majority of the blame lies there.
        Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


        • Original Poster

          Another article written not long after the incident. Ergo probably closer to the truth.
          The comments fill in a lot of holes the the news didn’t.
          Such as there were two other bikers who cut through the flock first. The woman followed and she was the one the dogs caught. She knew there were dogs she didn’t care.


          • #6
            I've long been bothered by the me-me-me confrontational attitude of yuppies towards rural ranchers and farmers.

            First, a lot of people who object to agricultural use of public land forget that a lot of public land was once private land. The farmers and ranchers could have fought pretty hard against the parks and national forests. Instead, a lot of the owners agreed to cede ownership of their land in exchange for being able to continue the agricultural usage. Without the cooperation of the original land owners, we wouldn't have the public lands we're now trying to drive their decendents off of.

            Second, the reason a lot of open space still exists is because it has been in continuous agricultural usage. Business abhors a vacuum as much as nature does. Remove the farmer, and you won't just get a green rolling valley to use as a playground. you'll instead get a Walmart, sub-division, or even meth lab with trigger happy guards. Personally, I prefer the farmer.


            • #7
              "No one seems to get the idea that these dogs need to be taught not to bite someone," Steve Legro said.

              UMMM Dude? They are WORKING dogs ment to PROTECT their flock... unfortunately for them the mountain bikers looked like predators. It's not like the dogs went off looking for a Sunday School picnic to bite small children.


              • #8
                That makes me want to maul Renee Legro myself, and her husband. He said something like "I mean, how do you recover from being mauled by dogs?" Well, you give it some time to heal, and you go back to work a-hole.

                The dogs were doing their job, and while I agree they shouldn't attack people, they didn't go off and just randomly attack someone. She came hurtling down a mountain towards their flock. Damn righteous yuppies.
                Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan



                • #9
                  Honestly, people like that should be required to live in city centers. They don't deserve to be allowed to enjoy the outdoors. Wonder who they'll sue when it's a mountain lion next time.
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                  • #10
                    That is stupid. Even my pet, well-socialized, super-friendly dogs have gotten nervous about someone speeding towards us on a mountain bike, because they don't know what it is and something strange coming that fast towards you is a threat (honestly, I've gotten nervous about someone speeding towards me while I was hiking on a narrow trail because I didn't know that they wouldn't hit me). How much more so for a livestock guardian dog, who is trying to do his job and protect the herd. I think the fact that other people were able to chase the dogs away and not get threatened/attacked themselves is a good indication that these are not vicious dogs, that they were just doing their job.

                    Shame on the Legros for insisting that criminal charges be pressed on the rancher. I'm sure it was a very traumatic experience, but as I see it the fault lies with the race organizer for not notifying the ranchers so they could move their herd, and with the biker for not knowing how to act around guardian dogs. I don't blame her for that ignorance because we can't all know everything, but that doesn't mean it is okay to press charges. If these dogs had a history of attacking people or if she had been passing by at a distance and the dogs left the herd to go after her that would be one thing, but it sounds like she was pretty much riding through the herd, which is not okay.
                    exploring the relationship between horse and human


                    • #11
                      I have a Great Pyrenes as well as two German bred shepherds. They will defend their territory, but don't seek out people to attack...however a human on foot vs a human on a speeding bike probably don't look the same to any dog. A speeding biker probably looks a bit like a predator on wheels!! God forbid the bikers have to use any sort or common sense when riding in grazing country. Maybe the organizers should have made some warnings to the bikers. Those dogs are doing a job and although they may not be terribly friendly pets...they are not usually agressive when not threatened. Hope the woman recovers and they have sense enough not to put the dogs down for doing what they are "hired" to do.
                      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                      • #12
                        More "entitlement" mentality at work.

                        There's a reason those guard dogs are there - and it's not to protect the herd from moronic yuppies. She's lucky she wasn't attacked by a wolf or other large predator. Guess if she was she'd bitch about the predators and insist guard dogs be used to protect the bikers.

                        You just can't win with some people. You can just hope they don't breed.
                        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                        -Rudyard Kipling


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                          More "entitlement" mentality at work.

                          There's a reason those guard dogs are there - and it's not to protect the herd from moronic yuppies. She's lucky she wasn't attacked by a wolf or other large predator. Guess if she was she'd bitch about the predators and insist guard dogs be used to protect the bikers.

                          You just can't win with some people. You can just hope they don't breed.
                          Totally agree!


                          • #14
                            I have very mixed feelings about this story (especially since I am a mountain biker, too). But my biggest question is: what would everyone's reaction be if these dogs had gone after a horse and rider?


                            • #15
                              hard to say. I personally think "public land" shouldn't be used by ranchers to graze their livestock, especially sheep- they destroy it. Ranchers should buy their own land and keep their beasties on it. Then if stupid mountain bikers get eaten by wild animals or sheep guardians it's clearly no one's fault except the bikers. The dogs were certainly NOT to be faulted in this horrible incident.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                                You just can't win with some people. You can just hope they don't breed.
                                They already did. This was her "big night out" - remember?

                                Stories like this just make me want to scream! I remember when the mountainbikers first started invading the park where we rode. They were very rude and thought nothing of whizzing up behind the horses and scaring them half to death. Never an apology, I think they did it for kicks.

                                As for if this had been a horse and rider that were mauled - I would hope that someone on horseback would have had the sense to give a herd of sheep a wide berth and thus avoided the whole situation in the first place. If not then, sorry, you brought it on yourself - the dogs were just doing their job.


                                • #17
                                  That's a fair question, yellowbritches.

                                  Personally, my reaction would be the same.

                                  We all have a right to enjoy public land - but that right comes with responsibilities. We have a duty to be aware of what other users are doing, be considerate and careful not to disturb wildlife or livestock, etc.

                                  The organizers of this ride could have coordinated with other users to make sure there were no conflicts. Had they done so - the rancher probably would have simply moved his flock elsewhere. He doesn't want them disturbed any more than the moutain bikers want to be mistaken for a predator.

                                  Farmers and ranchers are in an impossible position. The reason those dogs are there (whether it's public land or private) is to protect the flock from predators. It used to be that predators were shot - now farmers are told, even forced, into tolerating predators and predation on their livestock.

                                  In some areas, programs are set up to provide these ranchers with the livestock guardian dogs - this is part of an effort on the part of the gov't and animal rights groups to "rewild" the US. There are also compensation programs to repay ranchers for livestock losses due to predation. Most of those programs have run out of money. (double check me on that because it varies state to state)

                                  Basically what this rancher has done is do what the gov't and AR groups told him to do. Not shoot predators - but accept increased losses and try and protect his flock using these dogs.

                                  And now he's being told - no no - bad rancher. we're going to sue you because you did the "eco-friendly" thing, and urban oriented people can't be bothered to learn anything about the land they're using.

                                  No matter what - the dogs lose. And that is a terrible shame as they were just doing their job. And the rancher may lose everything; or if not go back to shooting predators instead of being so "eco-friendly".

                                  But I think it just boils down to the fact that we've become a very self-centered society with a sense of entitlement. Add that to the fact that most people are very disconnected from nature and agriculture, and it's just conflict after conflict. Quite a shame, really.
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling


                                  • #18
                                    You all need to spend some time and learn about the west. Colorado is an Open Range state (fence OUT not in). That is the heritage here. This is not the first time such issues have arisen. We had a city idiot from Texas kill 32 buffalo from a neighboring ranch because they came onto his property. I believe many Coloradoans called for the death penalty in that case. He had no idea that it was HIS responsibility to fence the herd out.

                                    Less than 1 in 6 people here are native thus there is a HUGE lack of understanding of the laws. When you are in public space or any open range you must expect livestock.

                                    For a rancher here to buy sufficient land to hold a herd would be impossible. It takes between 5-10 acres of land to support 1 animal (horse or cow) and almost 85% of the state is owned by the government (military bases, national parks, indian reservations and other).

                                    I, for one, am tired of outsiders coming here and telling us what to do. Come here, live here, but shut the _____-up and learn the laws or go somewhere else and leave me alone.


                                    • #19
                                      I, for one, am tired of outsiders coming here and telling us what to do. Come here, live here, but shut the _____-up and learn the laws or go somewhere else and leave me alone.
                                      wow. I am hoping you are a full blooded member of some american aboriginal tribe, if any full blooded members still exist. Otherwise, your attitude is unjustified.

                                      Culture is not static. If most of your population is immigrants, your culture is going to change and rather rapidly. Get used to it. Such incidents show us where the cultures are clashing rather than blending.

                                      Really hard to assign responsibility in such cases.

                                      Yes, the ranchers have ceded most of their privately owned land to government reserves and parks in the last 100 years and deserve some concession to continue to use the land. Yes that land is now open for public use. Yes, users should be aware of many dangers that lurk including wild animals who were not in the area due to the presence of the livestock guard dogs. Yes, if you are using public land, you should know what to do in case of wild animal or dog attack. Yes the race organizer should have posted the race and sent notice to the livestock users of the land well in advance.

                                      And if it had been a horse and rider instead of a biker?
                                      First, I hope horse riders are more aware of the habits of animals than a city dwelling machine rider is. And has trained their horse to deal with the situation. And maybe carries safety equipment like bear spray if needed.

                                      But really, it's less likely to happen to a horse rider who is travelling at lower speed on a livestock animal and probably knows better than to ride at speed directly into a herd of grazing animals, which is likely to scatter and stampede them. Seems to me the bikers lacked the education necessary to travel in such country.

                                      There may be an improvement in attitude among mountain bikers but I haven't noticed. Bikers are supposed to yield to pedestrians, horse riders, etc, in our city. So there I am, taking a rest midway up a forest hill near my home, on a public trail last week, with my large puppy. I hear the telltale swooshing of a bike approaching and before I can clear the narrow trail, a mountain biker nearly lands on top of me. In order to avoid me and the dog, she puts her bike into the bushes, and is scratched and muddied by her abrupt landing, which leads to a stream of language I won't repeat, but basically asking me what I was doing in her way. She was lucky I am responsible about my dog and didn't just drop the leash when she narrowly missed us, because the dog clearly perceived the threat in her voice towards me and had raised her hackles. What happened to having courtesy for other trail users?
                                      "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                                        I, for one, am tired of outsiders coming here and telling us what to do. Come here, live here, but shut the _____-up and learn the laws or go somewhere else and leave me alone.
                                        This a sentiment shared by 'natives or mostly natives' of each state I have lived. If you move to a new area, learn about it before deciding it isn't as 'perfect' as where you used to live. A lesson I learned at a very early age when our family visited 'my perfect old home town' - it wasn't quite a perfect as I remembered.
                                        "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                                        Courtesy my cousin Tim