Sheriff to discuss stock law with county commissioners

Montague County Sheriff Marshall Thomas will discuss the stock law that makes the county closed range when he addresses the Montague County Commissioners at their 9 a.m. Jan. 14 meeting.
Thomas said he wanted an opportunity to review the stock law and its stipulations, and what steps his office will be taking to enforce it.
“One of the commissioners approached me and said some people were concerned they would get a ticket if their cows get out once. We are more concerned about the repeat offenders, but I want to explain it,” said the sheriff.
In early December, 2018, Thomas began researching the county’s status as either an open or closed range. Texas is an open range state, which means livestock owners are not required to fence in their livestock to prevent them from roaming at large.
There are two exceptions to that rule: The passage of local or county-based stock laws and the development of state highways, which have changed large portions of the state from open to closed. A stockman’s meeting early last year raised the question and Thomas began researching to confirm the assumption of most people at that meeting the county was open range.
The sheriff dug through county records and discovered a 1905 election that approved a stock law for Montague County making it closed range. Read the full story in the weekend News.

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