Rancher: Don’t fence me in

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

In the case Barnett v. Gomance, Keith Gomance's mother, Wanda Stafford, owned a cattle ranch neighboring another cattle ranch owned by Shelby and Linda Barnett.The ranches were separated by a 40-plus-year-old, tree-to-tree wire fence that had been built and rebuilt since a verbal agreement between Gomance's father and Barnett's predecessor in interest, under which both parties acknowledged that the fence was built 30 feet inside the Gomance ranch's property line. The parties also agreed that both Barnett and the previous owners could graze cattle and otherwise operate their ranches up to the fence line. According to Gomance, the fence was simply a wire nailed between the trees to keep the parties' cattle on their respective properties, and was erected to avoid the costs of constructing and maintaining a more robust fence, as the fence washed out every time there were major rains. When Barnett purchased his ranch, he obtained a survey, which showed that the fence was not on...