For those of you who have never traveled to the West or Southwest,
cattle guards are horizontal steel rails or pipes placed at fence
openings, in dug-out places in the roads adjacent to highways
(sometimes across highways), to prevent cattle from crossing over that
area. For some reason the cattle will not step on the "guards,"
probably because they fear getting their feet caught between the rails.
A few months ago, President Obama received a report that there were
over 100,000 cattle guards in Colorado. Because Colorado ranchers had
protested his proposed changes in grazing policies, he ordered the
Secretary of the Interior to fire half of the guards immediately.
Before the Interior Secretary, assuming he knew better, or anyone else
could respond and presumably straighten him out, Vice-President Joe
Biden intervened with a request that before any guards were fired that
they be given six months of retraining.