JOHN DAY - Gates left open on Malheur National Forest lands are causing problems for ranchers who still have cattle out on their permitted allotments, according to Doug Gochnour, MNF supervisor.

"The increased visitation during hunting season has added to the number of gates being left open," said Gochnour. "Not only is this causing a problem for the ranchers that may be trying to gather their cattle, but it allows cattle to potentially wander into areas where they may have negative impacts on big game and aquatic habitat.

"Also, visitors and hunters could end up with unwelcome intruders at their campsite or hunting camp."

Forest officials ask visitors to do the right thing: close any gates they open behind them.

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