Props & Disses: 5.7.14

By on May 6, 2014

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.


About Mike Bressler

4 Comments

  1. Yeah right

    May 6, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I think you should double check your numbers regarding how much the CRC spent on “administration” in 2012. Let’s do some math” 5% of 426,359 is $21318. Considering there are at least 4 people working for the CRC, I think they sent more like $175000 on “administration” – and that would probably be payroll only – including benefits. Why don’t you look up how much an Executive director of a non profit in JH makes… It was actually published in the N&G. At the end, their “administration” expenses is probably close to 40% of the donations…

    Now if you’d like to hear something more interesting: some of the churches in JH spent nearly 70% of the donations on their payroll only. Sad part is that top 3 people in a “church” got paid almost 30% of the donations. i’ve seen it with my own eyes. So much for helping the poor… It’s all about the tax write-offs

    I know it’s sad, but it’s the truth! Do some research!

  2. Yang

    May 7, 2014 at 6:37 am

    “Arguments have been made that ranchers deserve grazing rights at bargain prices on federal land and they do”

    Everybody expects a handout in that community. Farmers and Ranchers are nothing but welfare queens. And some of the WORST polluters. The idea that they’re like backpackers is silly.

  3. Jean R.

    May 7, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Back East in the little town I am visiting the economy is not strong. A lady with a one way ticket arrived with her pet rabbit and hand luggage looking for the Preble Street Homeless Shelter. Here she was provided for, hopefully found a job and a place to stay. Donations and tax dollars pay for these services. The community also pays with increased rents when the landlords realize they can get guaranteed checks from their underprivileged clients. Here, locals live with and accept this as their way to help their neighbors. What I have a tough time accepting is why so many big and little towns with much better economies hand out one way bus tickets to their homeless. ie: Jackson, a mecca for millionaires is an exporter of homeless unemployed people. Job service and community resource people in these pretty little resort towns need the most job training. Exporting “problems” does not help people. Of course “helping people” may not be the goal as much as maintaining the appearances of their streets and public places. Better to pay a well dressed resource center employee sipping a latte at Starbucks.

  4. JHNative

    May 9, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Let’s be real, the Gov’t is in it for the money, period! Grazing fees are just another money maker the Gov’t tacks on to the rancher, who, already pays fees for getting their cattle, raising it, selling it and then again buying it to eat after its been processed. Uncle $am is no dummy when it comes to money!

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