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To the editor:

A couple of weeks ago I received a call from a friend saying she saw 50-plus hawks hanging out in a large field. I was told exactly where the field was located, and I was on my way. The hay field was between Hyrum and Nibley. My first thoughts about the hawks being there in such large numbers was that it just cannot be that 50-plus hawks are in a large field hanging out together. Now I was curious and excited to see how many hawks there really were. When I arrived at the hay field, I start looking for the hawks and sure enough they were everywhere. I mean everywhere I looked there was a hawk. I think I counted over 60 hawks in the field. Most of the ton hay bales in the field had one or two hawks perched on top of the bale, of course with the intent to feed on the mice and voles. There were more hawks on the ground than there were on the hay bales. I saw red-tailed and Swainson’s hawks with many hawk fledges.

Boy, I was thinking as I was observing the hawks, how important these agriculture fields are to us for agriculture purposes, but also how important these fields are to the hawks as well as to other critters. Between Hyrum and Nibley there are still fields of irrigated agricultural land to grow grass hay, corn, alfalfa, and grain crops.

Maybe decades from now we may not have any agricultural land in Utah because of all the housing and commercial development. Then we will have to rely on other states for our food. Only about 7 percent of the state of Utah is suitable for growing crops by irrigation. Hopefully people who make land decisions will have the foresight to protect our agriculture land so the wildlife and humans can benefit from agriculture land for decades to come.

Frank J. Smith