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Goat Griping 

Editor:

Thumb to Mouth? (Mailbox, July 28) When I first read of the controversy over the proposed goat dairy, my response was, "Well there they go again. Shame on those NIMBY's!"

Then I read further.  Seventy goats per acre isn't your usual dairy.  The risk to nearby residents may not be as great as the worst of the CAFO pig parlors and poultry operations in other areas, but that density is new in our area, and a legitimate cause for reasonable concerns re: odors, noise and watershed damage to downwind homes, particularly with the reality of Q fever.

Nearby residents have every right to worry that their homes may be rendered both unlivable and unsalable at one fell swoop. They have every right to expect their government to protect their rights to the safe, peaceful enjoyment of their homes. They should not be bullied, nor required to go to court at their own expense, facing off against a multinational corporation with deep pockets.

The burden of proof of safety is with Cyprus Grove.  If similar farms in the Netherlands are so wonderful, show us the movie: Let us SEE contented, healthy goats grazing peacefully at that level of density. Explain why Q fever and other problems that arise with overcrowded livestock should not be matters of concern.

Otherwise, Cyprus Grove should purchase sufficient land to pasture their goats in the sane and healthy manner typical of Humboldt County.  Our ranchers and dairy farmers are justly famed and deeply appreciated for the quality they produce AND the land use principles they honor.

Cyprus Grove should be held to those same standards. We love their products and applaud their success, no doubt of that. But they have absolutely no right to ride roughshod over the legitimate property rights of their neighbors.

Thumb in mouth?  What if it were YOUR home in danger of being rendered both unlivable AND unsalable, with the blessings of YOUR government?  Seventy goats per acre?  Show us how that can be done without irremediable damage.

Nancy Woodward, Loleta

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