George Wuerthner asks:  Is Ranching Sustainable ?  (As featured on Red State Rebels)

In case you didn’t guess; it’s a rhetorical question.  The article also appears in Western Watersheds Project’s Fall ’08 Watersheds Messenger


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About The Author

Brian Ertz

3 Responses to The Story of Bob the Rancher

  1. Barb Rupers says:

    In my opinion, a realistic view on the changes occurring in western ranching. This is about private land not “subsidized public land” ranching. There is no mention of conflicts with elk eating livestock forage, bison transmitting brucellosis to cattle, or wolves killing livestock.
    The Western Cowboy myth will die hard.

  2. Monty says:

    Wendell Berry wrote: “everyone, eventually, turns into a redskin” and is replaced by another generation with different values, habits or life styles. This is not a value statement but fact–right or wrong–it is what it is. “Progress” is the sum of all it’s parts and unfortunately many of the parts are nothing but “GOO”.

  3. Barb says:

    In general, good story, but a bit soap-opera-ish.

    I mean, really — “Stubborn rancher hangs on to ranch no matter what, wife finds another man, etc, etc…..”

    The “cowboy” isn’t the “enemy” though, Barb, in reality, he was just the hired help. It’s the cattle barons that were the “bad guys” with their “land grabbing.”


October 2008


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey