Friday, June 28, 2013

Soul food friday [June 2013]

It's something you always knew, just sometimes life gets in the way and it gets pushed to the back of your mind.

Friends are my soul food!

Unfortunately, last week I was reminded to NOT let life push this little piece of fact to the back of my mind, to love my friends, to let my friends know that I love them, to take a little extra time to send that email or text or pick up the phone and make the call, to spend more than is in the travel budget, to take 10 days 2 1/2 weeks off to drive what I'm going to refer to as the Giant Friend Loop Road Trip (GRLRT) instead of flying in/out in 3 days time, to buy the random gift you know they will love.

As I looked around the room, which was full, at the wake I realized how many lives this young man had touched so deeply in just 27 short years. The next day the sanctuary, the hall and foyer were filled with people wanting to pay their last respects to their friend. I am reminded to strive to be like Joe Don, to strive to be a better person and a friend to all who I have met and will meet throughout my life.

So to my friends, near and far. I love you! and call me out when I don't stay in touch like I should!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I have alot to be thankful for

[Linking up with Julia at Black Tag Diaries]

I'm thankful...........
  • that my job allows me to travel and take time off (especially in emergencies)

  • that I have friends I can count on to take care of things while I'm gone, mostly keeping this baby alive and harvested

  • for this cute little furry face

  • for carpet shampooers to clean up said dogs insane shedding
  •  a little patio that makes me feel like I'm in the country (minus the yelling neighborhood kiddos)
  • beer, yep I'm thankful for beer

What are you thankful for?

PS. Don't forget to link up here at Almost Gypsy Soul on the fourth Friday of the month (tomorrow!) for Soul Food Friday! Let blogland know what feeds your soul!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

#15.6: Far-away friend: Jeremiah Johnson family

The Jeremiah Johnson family is awesome! Completely down to earth folks that love family, God, ranching and hunting. I met Jeremiah Johnson and family when they moved back to Colorado to take on the lower ranch and barn manager at Waunita Hot Springs Ranch. The same place where they had met a few years before that while working summers there. When I first met them they had Rankin, who was 2 at the time. He and I were instant buddies and may or may not have had ice cream every night before bed that summer. A few years later, while I was still living in Gunnison, they added little Aubrie to the family and she sure is a Daddy's girl. She wants to do everything with David!

Yet another family that took me in as one of their own. I will always treasure our friendship and to this day look forward to our visits, which are usually centered around camping and/or hunting. I try to make it down to Gunnison for elk hunting (which I have done an extremely poor job of the last few years) and they try to make it up to Wyoming for antelope hunting (still waiting on draw results for this year!) Even though I don't see them nearly as often as I'd like, they will always hold a special place in my heart. True gold, that is the Jeremiah Johnson family!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

ABCs of me

Its my blog and this one is all about me!

Prairie Princess tagged me in this ABC's of me post she did last week, so I'm playing along! I'm sure you will learn more than you ever wanted to know about me!

A. Attached or Single? Single (with a dog and a mortgage)
B. Best Friend? I have a few best friends, but Military Friend has been my friend since like forever and we just pick up wherever we left off. 
C. Cake or Pie? Pie, wait pie...strawberry pie that they used to make at Waunita Hot Springs Ranch, final answer.
D. Day of Choice? Saturday, I have the whole day to do whatever I want, plus its usually Saturday that I spend on the slopes, boarding or on the lake. Plus I have Sunday to recover!

E. Essential Item? Pod, I need background noise.
F. Favorite Color? Green, I didn't used to say this, but then one day I realized how much green is in my life (too bad that wasn't true of my bank account too :))
G. Gummy bears or worms? Bears

H. Hometown? Limon, CO, the biggest little town on the eastern plains.
I. Favorite Indulgence? MacDoubles.....they are carby, cheesy $1 goodness.
J. January or July? I'm going to have to go with July on this one because July 4th is hands down my favorite holiday.
K. Kids? Tylie is a kid except she sheds more than a kid and I can leave her home alone.

L. Life isn't complete without? family and friends 
M. Marriage Date I'm going to go with sometime in the next 5 years.....fingers crossed. Maybe I should start taking applications for a boyfriend....soon.
N. Number of Brothers and Sisters? 2 little sisters
O. Oranges or Apples? Apples...if I can have peanut butter too.
P. Phobias? Snakes, I hope they die a slow miserable death and heights (only sometimes which I think is worse than all the time)
Q. Quotes? Quotes of friends that remind me of fun trips, events, times etc.
R. Reasons to Smile? Just look around you!
S. Season of Choice? Fall - I love long sleeves and jean, crisp air, warmish days, fall colors. Winter - I love winter clothes and snowboarding. Summer - I love tans, boating and long days.

T. Tag 5 people: Football Fan, A Desert Girl, Queen of the Trailerhood, Alaskan Explorer, Pharmer Girl
U. Unknown Fact about Me: I've never smoked a one really believes me, but its true.
V. Vegetable? I'm a fake veggie fan so I'll tell you what I really don't like is cauliflower and broccoli and raw carrots.....gross.
W. Worst Habit? Being lazy and unmotivated, procrastinating
X. X-Ray or Ultrasound? from the chiropractor....not baby ultrasounds those are freaky, especially the alien 3D ones. If I ever have a human kid....not even having one of those done.
Y. Your favorite food? Mexican
Z. Zodiac Sign? Pisces

PS. Don't forget to link-up this Friday for the June version of Soul Food Friday here at Almost Gypsy Soul!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wedding crashers: Denver

"Okay, what's our back story?"

"We're brothers a couple from New Hampshire. We're venture capitalists."

 "I'm sick of that. Let's be from Vermont. And let's have an emerging maple syrup conglomerate."

"Wait, that's stupid. We don't know anything about maple syrup."

"I happen to know everything there is to know about maple syrup! I love maple syrup. I love maple syrup on pancakes. I love it on pizza. And I take maple syrup and put a little bit in my hair when I've had a rough week. What do you think holds it up, slick?"

We didn't really crash the wedding, I had an invite, but Wedding Crashers  is an awesome title and it made you want to read this post to see if I really had the guts to crash a wedding. Well the answer is no, I do not have the guts to crash a wedding.

It's wedding season! Up first? High school friend and home of fried spiders, turned my financial guru is getting married in Denver. Gypsy Friend is my date, gettin' him off the farm and into town for a few hours! 

The Wedding Date
The wedding was at Hudson Gardens, a beautiful botanical gardens and events complex in Littleton. The ceremony was held at Monet's Place, a little spot tucked away surrounded by gardens and water features. It was beautiful, even when it tried to rain on the ceremony.

Photo via
The cocktail hour and reception were held on site, and this fancy food was amazing! Beautiful wedding and I had a great time catching up with some old friends from Limon and celebrating James and Andrea's new life together. Congratulations and I wish you many, many years of happiness!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

#29.10: Cowboy corn

[Linking up with Stephanie @Beautiful Mess]

I'm an Oklahoma State fan, you can't live in Stillwater for any amount of time and not love you some orange. I'd argue Oklahoma, but there is no doubt one of those "other" fans reading this who will try to prove me wrong. Now, I'm not a crazy fan, I'll watch a game, but I don't know every player on every OSU sports team since the beginning of time. I like my orange, but I don't (or never did) have season passes for any season. So I guess yeah, some would say I'm not a fan but whatever.

Music Man is a Wyoming fan and he does know every players name for every team since the beginning of Wyoming Cowboys (and usually the OSU Cowboys) so it goes without saying he wins those fights, but I think that is mostly a guy thing (and Football Fan, Tiff) so again....whatever. Wyoming fans are pretty serious fans! I love watching Wyoming fans watch Wyoming football....its great!
Ok so the real point of this post is to show off the awesome cornhole boards that were fabricated last week for some lake fun (just in case we don't spend every hour from sun up to sun down on the water, like if we run out of gas or something). Since I was the painter of this project, I naturally wanted OSU boards, but Music Man had different ideas about which colors should be used. He was ok with the Cowboys though, but since I delegated most of the carpentry work out, I figured I should oblige.


So in the end its Cowboys (the good guys, orange and black) vs Cowboys (the not-as-good guys, prairie gold and brown). And in case you are wondering there is apparently a difference between just gold or yellow and prairie gold. And for using paint on hand.....I nailed the prairie gold perfectly!
Which board is the winner for best looking? (HINT: orange and black!)

PS. I even sewed those beanbags less than 24 hours....chalking it up to a win.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I know I shouldn't, but I am

asking why......why did another full-of-life, salt-of-the-earth, one of the REAL good guys have to leave this Earth way, way too soon. He was a friend of so many, didn't know a stranger, one would be hard pressed to remember a time where he wasn't living life to the fullest or a moment where there wasn't a smile on his face.

As I sat at my desk, trying to comprehend the news, I realize I couldn't breathe very well. It just doesn't seem real and I don't want it to be. Heaven got one of the good ones yesterday and he will be missed by so many. I don't know anyone who didn't like Joe Don.

Photos via Facebook

Rest in peace and know you are missed by so many.

When I get where I'm going On the far side of the sky The first thing that I'm gonna do Is spread my wings and fly
I'm gonna land beside a lion And run my fingers through his mane Or I might find out what it's like To ride a drop of rain
Yeah, when I get where I'm going There'll be only happy tears I will shed the sins and struggles I have carried all these years
And I'll leave my heart wide open I will love and have no fear Yeah, when I get where I'm going Don't cry for me down here
I'm gonna walk with my grand daddy And he'll match me step for step And I'll tell him how I missed him Every minute since he left Then I'll hug his neck
Yeah, when I get where I'm going There'll be only happy tears I will shed the sins and struggles I have carried all these years
And I'll leave my heart wide open I will love and have no fear Yeah, when I get where I'm going Don't cry for me down here
So much pain and so much darkness In this world we stumble through All these questions I can't answer So much work to do
But when I get where I'm going And I see my Maker's face I'll stand forever in the light Of His amazing grace
Yeah, when I get where I'm going Oh, when I get where I'm going There'll be only happy tears Hallelujah I will love and have no fear
When I get where I'm going Yeah, when I get where I'm going

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

20 seconds

But sometimes I just need to shut my mouth, not courage and not embarrassing bravery, just golden silence.

Monday, June 17, 2013

It'll always be home to me

My heart breaks for Colorado and all those affected by the multiple wildfires. Yes,the Black Forest fire is very, very bad, but there are multiple fires burning throughout Colorado, let us all remember all those affected and pray for safety for everyone.

Please take the time to visit Help Colorado Now to find out more how you can assist those in need. They have a link and summary of reputable organizations that are assisting in relief efforts,  if  you would like to donate to the cause. I personally donate to the Salvation Army because its online, its easy, I support their mission, approximately 84 cents of every donation dollar goes to help those in need and you can specify what you would like your donation to go towards.....i.e. Choose Colorado!

Throughout the last few days, I have had so many friends on Facebook offering to shelter animal, people, gathering supplies to donate, donating money, offering up prayers....anything they can do to help Colorado in need. Please, please consider a donation, no matter how large or small. It all helps first responders as well as victims.

Its still so early in fire season, take every precaution possible and if you see anything call it in immediately. Its going to be a long summer.

Friday, June 14, 2013

#30.6: The Icecutter's Daughter

[Linking up with Heather at Undercover Blonde]

Your typical tomboy gets the hot guy story, old school like 1800s old school is The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson. Its an easy read and not too corny.

Merrill is a girl that lives in a houseful of boys after her mother passed away. She is quite the hand with the teams of horses that her family uses to cut ice blocks each winter in a small Minnesota town. She is also a quite accomplished painter that lands her an additional job in town once the dashing young Rurik arrives in town to help his uncle with his carpentry business.

Of course there is wrench thrown into the loop making somewhat of a love triangle....pick up a copy at your library to find out who the third is!

And with this book, I crossed off #30 on my Dirty 30 list (this is the progress that I made in my first 3 months)!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Farmer's daughter

I grew up a farmer's daughter and I am shamefully admitting this is my first garden. Mom had a garden when I was younger, I remember "helping", but more than that I remember playing while Mom gardened. Hers was big.......mine is little.....Tylie doesn't like veggies!

The beginnings of a farmer's daughter's city dwelling garden:

I scored some killer deals on my garden supplies! I got some MiracleGro (miracles will be needed for me to have a successful garden) potting soil for $2.99 per bag, regular $4.99 per bag. They limited me to 2 bags those....jerks. I also got some super cute tomato cages, a purple one and an orange (GO POKES!) one for $3.99 per cage, regular $8.99 per cage. Maybe the biggest savings was my tomatoes....gallon tomatoes for $2.99 per plant, regular $9.97 per plant! And I bought my tank from Mike while I was home for Memorial Day.

My garden will grow (hopefully) zucchini, squash, cucumber, tomato, cilantro, spinach, jalapeno and lettuce.

And now we are ready to grow! I even checked to make sure I was supposed to water this baby everyday! Bring on the bees by my back door!

Did you catch a glimpse of the farmer's daughter?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

365 days of braggin' rights

If you remember my warning to the young grasshoppers about wanting to fast forward their lives to "big kid" life. Well here is the product of big kid life. Gotta keep that place of employment exciting and rewarding. This is how ya do it!

This is going to be a traveling trophy so each office that wins it will get to display this beaut in their office for 365 days and of course rub everyone else's face in their NAP shortcomings.

And the winner(s) this year is............ A TIE! The Lincoln County office and Sweetwater/Sublette County office (that's my office!!!) tied at 15 Exhibit 21s for the 2012 crop year. That is the equivalent of 60 on/off dates for BLM and FS permits for one rancher.

We recently had a mandatory training for our new software that integrates (or will integrate) all of our programs and databases into a single location and I was told that one particular office thought there should be a prize for the office that had the least number of Exhibit 21s so this participation award was born.....

And the winner is.........Niobrara County!

Enjoy your trophies for the next 365 days and we will see you next year to take that trophy back!....the champion one of course!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

#29.9: Jalapeno cream cheese chicken

Take this recipe, go to the grocery store and treat yourself.....TONIGHT! best.chicken.ever.

Go on over to Pip&Ebby for the step by step picture tutorial recipe from the genius lady who came up with this recipe!

If you want the quick version, read on!

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In each of 6 defrosted chicken breast halves, cut a slit horizontally into the breast without going all the way through to the other side.

Step 2: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 3: Add:
8-oz. package of cream cheese
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Stir until the cheese is melted.

Step 4: Divide the mixture between the 6 breasts and spoon into the openings. Seal the ends and secure with toothpicks. Place the chicken in the prepared baking dish. I propped the breasts on their ends so that they were stuffing-side up because I was afraid the guts would leak out if I would have laid them on their sides. It worked well having them stacked like tacos.

Step 5: Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the toothpicks and serve warm.

Step 6: If you are feeling crazy, serve with salsa and guacamole.

Monday, June 10, 2013

[Sweetwater series] shearing

Sweetwater County's high mountain desert is a landscape that allows sheep to thrive in a year-round range operation. Many larger sheep operations call Sweetwater County and southwestern Wyoming home....all year long, rain, snow and shine. Here I told you a little bit about a typical day on the trail at sheep camp.

The big spring event before lambing starts is shearing, besides for lambs, the wool that the sheep provide is a large source of income for the ranchers. Many have contracts with the US Military to make clothing products for the troops.

There are shearing crews that come and move from ranch to ranch shearing the large bands for them. They are similar to custom harvesting crews. The first range sheep shearing that I went to was out on the desert near Black Butte Coal. It is completely mobile, panels are set up into multiple corrals that hold the sheep until they can be sorted and pushed into increasingly smaller corrals and eventually into an alley way that leads into the shearing trailer. They will shear one band at a time, as one band is finished the herders will have the next band waiting less than a mile away and will immediately bring them to the corrals as soon as the largest one is empty, with the help of dogs.
hanging out waiting for a hair cut

typical mobile shearing trailer        

In the picture above you can see the chute on the right side of the picture that the sheep go up into the trailer, once they are shorn, each shearer has a door (where you see the ewe coming out) to let them out into a pen to be gathered while the rest of the band is shorn.

Working inside the shearing wagon
The inside of the shearing trailer is set up for speed. Along the left hand side of is an alley way with swinging doors. When the shearer is ready for the next sheep, he opens his door and grabs one out of the alley (folks outside by the pens are charged with keeping a steady line of sheep in the trailer). And I'll tell you from experience.....this isn't as easy as it is with cattle. You get the sheep going in an alley (not big enough to turn around) and you turn around to bring another bunch....all of a sudden there are NO sheep in the ally and shearers are mad!

After the wool is off, the sheep are pushed out doors with ramps on the front side of the wagon and the shearer kicks the fleece out of the wagon, which is under the alleyway.

Out comes the wool, ready to be sorted and bagged
Bagged wool

And out the other side of the shearing wagon.......shorn sheep, ready to head to the lambing grounds, approximately 40 miles away.

They tried to tell me how fast these guys could shear and I'll tell you, I didn't believe them.....30 seconds is kinda slow on some crews. I'm fairly certain I'd come in somewhere around 30 minutes.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cleaning out the closet

I'll admit, sometimes I buy stuff that I just don't need and then I get buyers remorse....but usually that doesn't come until after I've used it once or twice thus ruining the returnability of said "stuff". So what do you do with it? I could donate it and make some thrift store shopper a very, very happy person with an awesome find, but I'm greedy. I want cold hard cash for some stuff that is basically brand new and good quality. Sorry, but its true, I like cash! Especially now that I am on the cash diet, with my wallet filing cabinet.

Anyway back to my "stuff", Little Sister, Little Sister's Boyfriend and I  headed back to Colorado for Memorial Day Weekend and we decided to have a Stars, Stripes and Savings: 1 Week Only sale on a Facebook Group Swap Shop site. Now let me tell you, I'm on several here in my new home and the one back home is WAY BETTER!

Now the marketing major in me made up some way cute photos to help catch people's eye in all the postings. Here are a couple of my favorites!

In all fairness, all this stuff isn't mine, some of it is Little Sister's. And as you can see, very few clothes were up for sale....I just can't seem to get rid of clothes. Yes, I have a whole closet full. No, I do not wear them all. And in more fairness to me (so you don't think I'm a greedy jerk) stuff that doesn't sell, I'll donate.

How often do you clean out your "stuff"?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's a big day

Today is the anniversery of a couple big events....Mike's birthday (my pops) and the Limon tornado that hit in 1990.

First things first, HAPPY BIRTHDAY POPS!

This article was on NBC news last week showing a little bit about how our little town banded together and rebuilt. We were so lucky that newly installed tornado sirens helped to spare the lives of all those in Limon this night. Looking back at the pictures in the article, its hard to believe that a little over 20 years has passed. And for the record, many years after the tornado, Dad was kindly asked to leave town to celebrate his birthday. I mean seriously has anyone else woke up to a scene like this from their birthday party? Mom and Dad were at the bar on this street, eating dinner. They, along with other patrons were in the walk-in cooler during the storm. The top of the cooler was sucked off, but no one was hurt. Afterwards, they all got shirts that said "Cooler Crew" on the back!

Photos via Denver Post
Click here to read more about our town's path to rebuilding and moving on.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

#29.8: hair-on hide stools

Music man made me pine stools to match my coffee table that I got for Christmas. It probably nearly killed him to do OSU on here....he's a die hard Wyoming fan.

So I decided that there were a few Pinterest projects that I wanted to give a try with hair-on hide. I was warned by several friends that hair-on hide stools weren't as good as they seem as the hair will all rub off. I went ahead and did it anyway....I still have enough hide I can recover when it all rubs off. So here is the finished product of my cowhide bar stools.

And a project for the rest of my hide?......Can I master this one? Thoughts?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Necessary, not cruel

First things first.....Click here to read the article by NBC News. Then remember that I now call an area that is approximately 70% public lands home. Yes, there is livestock grazing. Yes, there is recreation (4 wheeling, hiking, hunting etc) Yes, there are "wild" horses. After reading this article I was extremely saddened by the misconceptions held by so many.

A few comments and thoughts from yours truly on the actual article (some are directly from the comment that I posted to NBCs site) and the comments that I took some time to read....which fueled me to make my own account on NBC News so that I could post comments....something that I never do!

"Stallions and mare, beautiful and strong, guiding their young" The wild horses are thought of as "beautiful and strong" and an icon of the American West. 

If we look at the definition of the very term....maybe the tens of thousands of horses that we have aren't really wild at all, but an invasive species.....feral horses. 
WILD = living in a state of nature, not ordinarily tame or domesticated
FERAL = having escaped from domestication and become wild [Thank you Mr. Webster]

Yes, wild horses are iconic of the American West. They were once majestic animals to be seen out on the deserts of the Western United States. However, uncontrolled and mismanaged (due to lots of reasons) they have become a breed that is no longer ideal or desirable. Extreme inbreeding has left them confirmationally unsound, crippled if you will. Ranchers and other horsemen used to desire these horses for the stamina, build and heart.....none of which can be readily found in the remaining wild horse herds. Now don't get me wrong, Americans are doing their part to introduce new breeding lines into the wild horse herds by dumping domestic horses that they no longer want or can afford to feed out on the desert. The result of overpopulated horse herds is seen day in, day out by the ranchers and recreationalists who are out there. Starving horses, crippled horses....pretty sight? Have you ever seen an animal starving to death. I live here, I have and it still brings tears to my eyes. It doesn't have to be that way....properly managed herds could survive and be healthy.

Many comments were highly critical of the "millionaire ranchers who will do anything to make a buck. They want to destroy every type of wildlife so that they may have more grass for their cows and sheep". It was even commented that "they don't care about anything but making money, they leave their livestock out on the range and only go back to check them like once a month"

Recently the Rock Springs Grazing Association and the BLM settled suit. BLM will be required to remove excess horses from the desert landscape. BLM and area ranchers had previously agreed to approximately 1500 horses. BLM had let the herds grow to nearly 4700 horses. The ranchers of the area aren't looking to wipe out horse herds, they want some horses to be available for tourists and others in the area to see and enjoy, but not at the expense of the entire range and consequently their livelihood. Horses are very destructive to riparian areas, water sources and the range. Horses are free roaming and do not have ranchers looking after them, moving them from area to area according to a grazing plan that is established by Range Conservationists with the BLM. Ranchers of both cattle and sheep are required to follow grazing plans and have strict livestock numbers and on/off dates for each allotment that they are permitted to run on, for a fee based on AUMs.

Another thing about those "greedy ranchers" who "leave their cattle and sheep out there and check on them once a month". They actually have at least 2 men out there living in a sheep camp with a band of sheep 24 hours a day, along with herd dogs, guard dogs, saddle horses and a team of horses. So actually, when your very livelihood and the wellbeing of your own human family depends on the success, health and wellbeing of your livestock....they do care and they are out there taking care of them. We suffer devastating winters in Wyoming and when everything else closes and people go home because of the bad weather....the ranchers are headed out to herd trying to keep them together, taking lambs into the floorboards of their pickups to dry them off, warm them up so that they might live through the storm.

It absolutely astonishes me how critical people can be of the farmers and ranchers who have dedicated their lives (and more hours a day than 90% of American work per day) to providing a safe, reliable and affordable food source for Americans. Instead of being so critical about an arena that you clearly know nothing about, how about finding out how things really work out here.

"With adoption rates falling, its cost has doubled in a decade to $78 million this year.  Even the government acknowledges “the current path is not sustainable for the animals, the environment or the taxpayer.” 

Its simple economics really. WE ARE BROKE. We simply cannot afford to dump 78 million dollars a year into horse herds that have evolved to undesirable horses for adoption. The sheer numbers of horses on the desert landscape is taxing to the range health, the sheer number of "wild" horses that are now held in captivity because the range heath has been threatened in taxing on our country. Coming from an area that is heavily BLM land with four horse management areas, I can tell you that its taxing on local economies as well. Ranchers can't afford to buy hay out of the very valley that they work and live in....because BLM has no choice but to buy matter the price to sustain the "wild" horses that are in holding facilities.

“They are still wild animals and accidents will happen,” she said. 

Anyone who has ever been around animals knows that accidents can and will happen. Now, I agree that if these are NOT isolated incidents then something needs to change. However, many of the images that you see in articles such as these ARE isolated accidents. Notice that there are no pictures showing what overpopulated, mismanaged horses left to fend for themselves out on a drought stricken desert range look like. 

I've had more than one rancher (remember the one who works out there sun up to sundown, day after day) tell me how heartbreaking it is to watch horses starve to death, die of thirst because they are overpopulated and mismanaged. Of course they are protected, so the most help that a rancher can offer is to call BLM and report horses that are in trouble. 

"These are MY public lands, get all those government welfare ranchers off of them"

I was shocked by the number of comments that claimed these federal lands as "ours" and we should "kick everyone else off of them".....correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the point of federal lands for the good of all Americans.....enter the term multi-use? The lawsuit that was recently won by Rock Springs Grazing Association involved a 2 million acre BLM grazing allotment. Of those acres, RSGA owns (deeded land) approximately 1 million acres and BLM (federal) acres only accounting for approximately 49% of those acres. The previous agreement with the BLM was to let a controlled number of wild horses roam both federal and deeded acres. With herds growing an average rate of 20% annually (they have very few natural predators), its easy to see how the numbers could get out of control and hinder range health. So to you original article commenters (who I'm sure are NOT reading this blog) who believe horses are only living on your federal lands, again check your facts....this may not be the case. In this case, those greedy, millionaire, government welfare ranchers are actually letting your wild horses graze their private, deeded acres too.  

After reading through all of this, I couldn't help but think about the Farm to Fork initiative. I used to think it was a bunch of hokie pokie, but I'm here to tell you..... WE NEED THIS! We need to educate the masses on what, how and why those "greedy, millionaire" hardworking, caring, scraping by ranchers  and farmers are doing out there so that we may enjoy a safe, affordable, reliable food source that we have come to expect in America.
I challenge you not to believe all that  you see in the media, but search out "the rest of the story" before making up your mind.

Do you know where I stand?