Props & Disses: 5.7.14
JACKSON, WYO – BLM promises made, promises broken DISS
When I was a boy my uncle took me on cattle drives up the Gros Ventre and Granite summer range. He and the other ranchers I met were tough, independent and generous. All espoused the finest qualities traditionally associated with cowboys. However, the letter to the editor by Frank Eathorne, president of the Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming, supporting Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy deserves a diss. Putting Mr. Bundy’s racial comments aside, Mr. Eathorne demands the U.S. Government honor all its promises no matter how old. If such a standard were to be applied, there would be no Wyoming ranchers. The U.S. Government promised Wyoming to another group of old-timers: the Shoshoni, Arapaho, Sioux, Cheyenne and other early locals.
Arguments have been made that ranchers deserve grazing rights at bargain prices on federal land and they do. When I backpack on Forest or BLM lands, I pay nothing, also a bargain. It is not the job of the Forest or BLM to make maximum profit off public lands, but to support uses that can be sustained financially and environmentally. Ranchers, like the rest of us that use BLM and Forest lands, need to learn Copernicus’ theory, the one that says the Earth does not revolve around us, and remember, whether we like it or not, times change.
Happy horn hunting PROPS
I went for a run on the Elk Refuge road on April 30 and ran a gantlet of horse trailers and trucks filled with camo-dressed horn hunters ready to spend the night at the refuge gate in preparation for the 8 a.m. opening of access to Upper Flat Creek and Curtis Canyon. There was a festive atmosphere. Beers were sipped, distant ridges glassed, and gas grills fired up. There was even a Dominos car making a pizza delivery. Some parents pulled their kids out of school for a day of outdoor adventure.
Having horn hunted for years, and a couple times having even snowshoed up Noker Mine Draw the day before to get a head start, I understand the illogical yet passionate infatuation with this spring ritual. For me, age has brought wisdom (and sore knees) so I leave the steep hillsides to dumber, younger knees. However, it was good to see so many still involved in an activity that has become a tradition and connects us to the land, to seasons and migration.
CRC there for community, again PROPS
Jackson Community Resource Center’s fund-raiser for the Budge Drive Slide was a success and while a prop goes to all who showed up or donated auction items, the biggest prop needs to go to the Community Resource Center and not just for its Budge Drive slide efforts.
CRC is not a sexy nonprofit with wine auctions attended by millionaires or balls where the elite rub elbows with the super cool.
It does have emergency assistance programs for our neighbors whose challenging situation is often not as publicized as those who live on Budge Drive, but whose need is no less desperate. According to their website, CRC spent only 5 percent of their $426,359 in 2012 total expenditures on administration with all money received from donations, not tax dollars. The rest goes directly to community members in need.