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“Many of us have families who have sacrificed lives and lands, but we trust the United States Forest Service to sustain our forest,” said Ms. Lang.

Supporters of the ranchers point out that the Forest Service is allowing hundreds of elk and deer, as well as wild feral hogs, to drink from the creek. The fence is low enough to allow elk and deer to jump over it, but not cattle.

“There’s tracks and everything all over those streams anyway because there are hundreds of elk going in and out of there all the time,” said Mr. Dunn. “They do exactly the same damage as cows.”

Meanwhile in the Utah dispute, the Bureau of Land Management has begun an investigation that could lead to charges against up to 50 protesters who drove their ATVs on an off-limits trail Saturday in Utah’s Recapture Canyon as part of an anti-government demonstration. One of the protest participants was Mr. Bundy’s son, Ryan Bundy.

Motorized vehicles have been banned from the canyon, which holds artifacts of dwellings of ancient Indians, since 2007.