Friday, February 15, 2008

Be In Touch

There's an interesting article in the Times today -- it talks about how cowboys are looking out for the land all over the country --

''Look at this grass. If I don't take care of it, that's my livelihood,'' Nitschke said, kneeling as he examined foxtail shoots. ''We dress differently than the eco-folks, we probably vote differently, but in the end there's a lot of ways in which our core values are really close.''

Isn't it sweet -- the image of this cowboy bending down to touch a baby tree... The story says, usually, those who live off the land and those who seek to protect it are at odds...

Across the West, cattlemen and environmentalists have locked horns over grazing practices for decades. But increasingly, ranchers are buying into the idea that they have a role to play in protecting open space, be it through preserving private wildlands or promoting sustainable grazing techniques.

Arizona state card.

"Arizona state card."

Wealth does Arizona hold
In her mines and hearts of gold,
In her towering Canon Grand
Till she seems, 'The promised land'.

Near Florida's Lake Okeechobee, the World Wildlife Fund has recruited ranchers to build ditches on their lands to improve wetlands habitat for threatened and endangered birds like the wood stork and crested caracara.

In Wyoming, the Audobon Society is trying to persuade oil and gas companies to pay ranchers to maintain sage brush expanses key to the survival of the sage grouse.

It's a strange sort of question -- what constitutes living off the land -- in harmony with -- in understanding of -- in cooperation with -- respecting...

In touch vs out of touch -- isn't it nice to think of skin involved in that interchange. In touch with one's surroundings. In touch with the earth. The people around us...

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