Bovine lunch under trees

The article ``Soil-Management Lessons Help California Ranchers,'' Aug. 3, emphasizes that running cattle can improve our land. It does not mention that for decades, cattlemen have cut down uncounted oak trees in order to ``increase the grasses for cattle.'' Wrong. Grasses grow better and with more nutrition beneath the oaks. Accumulated detritus also aids growth.

Why do ranchers require the incentives of large state subsidies of money, seed, and road building if the California Soil Conservation's program offers proven benefits? Allan Shields, Mariposa, Calif.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to "Readers Write," and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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