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Open range sign in Ashland has been moved

In Ashland on Highway 66 heading east near the Sherwin-Williams paint store, a new official sign has appeared: "Free Range 11.5 miles." My first thought was, "Now I know we have a deer issue in town, but do I now need to look out for cattle for the next 11.5 miles, or is the sign telling me 'Free Range' begins in 11.5 miles?"

— Paige J., Ashland

Your beef with this sign is udderly apparent, Paige.

The good news is it's now been moved to the city limits; you'll just have to keep worrying about deer. Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Gary Leaming tells us the sign actually was slated to be moved to the city limits boundary — somewhere near Dead Indian Memorial Road — over the winter, but it didn't happen.

The sign was where it was because, once upon a time, Ashland's city boundary didn't reach as far to the east as it does now. The sign marked the start of the historic open range boundary, but it was later determined placing it there was an error.

Grant, Harney and Lake counties are the only open-range counties in the state. Jackson is one of 23 that combine open range and livestock districts, or a closed-range district where livestock don't have free rein and have to stay inside property boundaries.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. To see a collection of columns, go to mailtribune.com/youasked. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.