[Cdt-l] Fwd: : wild horse roundup

Brett blisterfree at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 30 01:58:13 CST 2010

Hey there! Great to hear from a rancher on the cdt-l, and thanks for the 
perspective. You'll have to forgive me if that particular post seemed 
biased, as the posts by others that preceded surely were as well. Of 
course bias is unavoidable, especially on an internet forum where 
there's a tendency to overdramatize our positions, and so to be 
misconstrued, even coming across as a caricature sometimes. I apologize 
if that happened here. However, I genuinely believe there is much common 
ground between camps. I spend a fair amount of time hiking along the 
Divide and thereabouts in New Mexico and Arizona and have met and spoken 
with a wide variety of folks who live and work in the small towns along 
the way, as well as out on the range. Invariably these encounters have 
been worthwhile and informative, and the ranchers in particular have 
been helpful and courteous. In turn, I have nothing but respect to 
offer, and I try to make sure that this always comes across in person.

We can agree to disagree about the impacts of cattle on the land. I do 
tend to think reality on the ground is a complex situation, highly 
variable from place to place, and so not ready made for soundbites. It's 
great to know that there are ranchers who recognize and treat the land 
as a renewable resource, who are thinking and acting long-term, and who 
are seeing that it makes good business sense to do so. I suppose as 
non-ranchers, those of us who traipse through our public lands around 
the Divide suffer from an unavoidable naivete, less aware of the good 
management practices being implemented because they are simply more 
transparent than in areas where we see negative impacts. I can certainly 
cite areas where the latter is the case, and no amount of justifying the 
situation will improve it. But I would like to gain a more balanced 
perspective and to be able to cite more examples that would prove old 
assumptions to be incorrect. You're finding me here, already heading 
down this path, but still prone to cheap rhetoric of my own from time to 
time. Just know that it doesn't come from a place of animosity, but from 
a sense of connection with the land - granted a different connection in 
some ways as my livelihood does not depend upon it, but a connection all 
the same. I think this is probably the touchstone that keeps relations 
between our two camps positive and constructive when and where our paths 
cross out in the wilds.

All best,

Brett Tucker

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