Folks across the West know a cowpoke named Jake. A good-hearted guy, he’s always up to his eyebrows in debt or drought or prickly pears looking for them dad-blamed ole wild cows. In fact, he’s so real a fella that it’s hard to believe that Ace Reid made him up. This book brings together 139 of Ace Reid’s popular "Cowpokes" cartoons, reproduced in large format to show the artistry and attention to detail that characterized Reid’s work. Grouped around themes such as work, weather, bankers, and friends, they reveal the distinctive "you might as well laugh as cry" sense of humor that ranch folks draw on to get through hard work and hard times. In the foreword, Washington Post cartoonist Pat Oliphant offers an appreciation of Reid’s "Cowpokes" cartoons, noting that "Ace’s work has a magic of its own, and it owes nothing to anyone else." Reid’s longtime friend Elmer Kelton recounts Ace’s life and career in the introduction, describing how a shy boy who grew up on ranch work transformed himself into an artist-entrepreneur who never met a stranger and who made ranch work the subject of his real love, cartooning. This collector’s volume belongs on the shelf of everyone who loves the "Cowpokes" cartoons, knows a fella like Jake, or enjoys the dry wit of the American cowboy.
Doña Ramona Benítez Franco was born in 1902 on her parents' Arizona ranch and celebrated her hundredth birthday with family and friends in 2002, still living in her family's century-old adobe house. Doña Ramona witnessed many changes in the intervening years, but her memories of the land and customs she knew as a child are indelible.
For Doña Ramona as well as for countless generations of Mexican Americans, memories of rural life recall la querida tierra, the beloved land. Through good times and bad, the land provided sustenance. Today, many of those homesteads and ranches have succumbed to bulldozers that have brought housing projects and strip malls in their wake.
Now a writer and a photographer who have long been intimately involved with Arizona's Hispanic community have preserved the voices and images of men and women who are descendants of pioneer ranching and farming families in southern Arizona. Ranging from Tucson to the San Rafael Valley and points in between, this book documents the contributions of Mexican American families whose history and culture are intertwined with the lifestyle of the contemporary Southwest. These were hardy, self-reliant pioneers who settled in what were then remote areas. Their stories tell of love affairs with the land and a way of life that is rapidly disappearing.
Through oral histories and a captivating array of historic and contemporary photos, Beloved Land records a vibrant and resourceful way of life that has contributed so much to the region. Individuals like Doña Ramona tell stories about rural life, farming, ranching, and vaquero culture that enrich our knowledge of settlement, culinary practices, religious traditions, arts, and education of Hispanic settlers of Arizona. They talk frankly about how the land changed hands—not always by legal means—and tell how they feel about modern society and the disappearance of the rural lifestyle.
"Our ranch homes and fields, our chapels and corrals may have been bulldozed by progress or renovated into spas and guest ranches that never whisper our ancestors' names," writes Patricia Preciado Martin. "The story of our beautiful and resilient heritage will never be silenced . . . as long as we always remember to run our fingers through the nourishing and nurturing soil of our history." Beloved Land works that soil as it revitalizes that history for the generations to come.
An important collection of personal essays from one of the most widely published American environmental writers addresses the effects of ranching on the environment. Acclaimed nature writer Linda M. Hasselstrom sees herself as a rancher who writes—a definition that shapes the tone and content of her writing. Now owner of the South Dakota cattle ranch where she grew up, Hasselstrom lives in intimate contact with the natural world. "Nature is to me both home and office. Nature is my boss, manager of the branch office—or ranch office—where I toil to convert native grass into meat. . . . If I want to keep my job as well as my home, I pay attention not only to Nature's orders, but to her moods and whims." She writes knowingly of the rancher's toil and of the intelligence and dignity of the wild and domesticated creatures that share the prairie grassland she calls home. As one who knows and loves the land, Hasselstrom appreciates the concerns of environmental activists and understands that responsible ranchers can play a role in nurturing a healthy rural ecosystem. Rich in detail, humor, and pathos, these essays offer wry commentary on the scope of human folly and the even greater human potential for community and empathy. "Only people who live in the country," she writes, "could form a relationship with nature so intimate that they feel concern for one lonely duck. People who live in cities . . . only glimpse nature from high windows or speeding vehicles. Even wilderness lovers who probe deeply are only passing through. We who live on the land truly live within the land, each of our lives only one among the other inhabitants of the place." These are essays to read with wonder and delight, to relish and ponder. Available in hardcover and paperback.
A sophisticated ecological analysis of ranching in northern Nevada featuring a new chapter and new epilogue by the authors.First published in 1985, Cattle in the Cold Desert has become a classic in the environmental history of the Great Basin, brilliantly combining a lively account of the development of the Great Basin grazing industry with a detailed scientific discussion of the ecology of its sagebrush/grassland plant communities. The volume traces the history of white settlement in the Great Basin from about 1860, along with the arrival of herds of cattle and sheep to exploit the forage resources of a pristine environment and, through the history of John Sparks, a pioneer cattleman, illustrates how the herdsmen interacted with the sagebrush/grasslands of the cold desert West. As the story unfolds on two levels—that of the herdsmen adapting their livelihood to the challenging conditions of the Great Basin's scanty forage, aridity, and fierce winters, and that of the fragile ecology of the desert plant communities responding to the presence of huge herds of livestock—we see the results of a grand experiment initiated by men willing to venture beyond the limits of accepted environmental potential to settle the Great Basin, as well as the often ruinous consequences of the introduction of domestic livestock into the plant communities of the region. The result is a remarkably balanced and insightful discussion of the grazing industry in the Intermountain West. This new paperback edition includes an additional chapter that addresses the impact of wild mustangs on the Great Basin rangelands, and an epilogue that discusses changes in rangeland management and in rangeland conditions, especially the impact of recent wildfires. As concern over the future of the Great Basin's unique rangeland environment and its principal agricultural industry grows, Cattle in the Cold Desert remains essential reading for everyone who cares about this underappreciated region of the American West.
First published in 1960, Neil R. Johnson's The Chickasaw Rancher, Revised Edition, tells the story of Montford T. Johnson and the first white settlement of Oklahoma. Abandoned by his father after his mother's death and then left on his own following his grandmother's passing in 1868, Johnson became the owner of a piece of land in the northern part of the Chickasaw Nation in what is now Oklahoma.
The Chickasaw Rancher follows Montford T. Johnson's family and friends for the next thirty-two years. Neil R. Johnson describes the work, the ranch parties, cattle rustling, gun fights, tornadoes, the run of 1889, the hard deaths of many along the way, and the rise, fall, and revival of the Chickasaw Nation.
This revised edition of The Chickasaw Rancher, edited by C. Neil Kingsley, Neil R. Johnson's grandson, is the perfect addition to any reader's collection of the history of the American West.
From the big picture to the smallest detail, Richard Collins fashions a rousing memoir about the modern-day lives of cowboys and ranchers. However, Cowboy is a Verb is much more than wild horse rides and cattle chases. While Collins recounts stories of quirky ranch horses, cranky cow critters, cow dogs, and the people who use and care for them, he also paints a rural West struggling to survive the onslaught of relentless suburbanization.
A born storyteller with a flair for words, Collins breathes life into the geology, history, and interdependency of land, water, and native and introduced plants and animals. He conjures indelible portraits of the hardworking, dedicated people he comes to know. With both humor and humility, he recounts the day-to-day challenges of ranch life such as how to build a productive herd, distribute your cattle evenly across a rough and rocky landscape, and establish a grazing system that allows pastures enough time to recover. He also intimately recounts a battle over the endangered Gila topminnow and how he and his neighbors worked with university range scientists, forest service conservationists, and funding agencies to improve their ranches as well as the ecological health of the Redrock Canyon watershed.
Ranchers who want to stay in the game don’t dominate the landscape; instead, they have to continually study the land and the animals it supports. Collins is a keen observer of both. He demonstrates that patience, resilience, and a common-sense approach to conservation and range management are what counts, combined with an enduring affection for nature, its animals, and the land. Cowboy is a Verb is not a romanticized story of cowboy life on the range, rather it is a complex story of the complicated work involved with being a rancher in the twenty-first-century West.
Many people dream of “someday buying a small quaint place in the country, to own two cows and watch the birds,” in the words of Texas ranchwoman Amanda Spenrath Geistweidt. But only a few are cut out for the unrelenting work that makes a family ranching operation successful. Don’t Make Me Go to Town presents an eloquent photo-documentary of eight women who have chosen to make ranching in the Texas Hill Country their way of life. Ranging from young mothers to elderly grandmothers, these women offer vivid accounts of raising livestock in a rugged land, cut off from amenities and amusements that most people take for granted, and loving the hard lives they’ve chosen. Rhonda Lashley Lopez began making photographic portraits of Texas Hill Country ranchwomen in 1993 and has followed their lives through the intervening years. She presents their stories through her images and the women’s own words, listening in as the ranchwomen describe the pleasures and difficulties of raising sheep, Angora goats, and cattle on the Edwards Plateau west of Austin and north of San Antonio. Their stories record the struggles that all ranchers face—vagaries of weather and livestock markets, among them—as well as the extra challenges of being women raising families and keeping things going on the home front while also riding the range. Yet, to a woman, they all passionately embrace family ranching as a way of life and describe their efforts to pass it on to future generations.
Dust Devils: (A Novella)
Robert Laxalt University of Nevada Press, 1997 Library of Congress PS3562.A9525D8 1997 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
An action-packed story set during the violent and conflict-ridden days of the early 20th century, Dust Devils takes place in the rugged mountains and deserts of Eastern California and Northern Nevada. Ira Hamilton, the teenage son of rugged Indian-hating rancher John D. Hamilton, wins the bronc-riding competition at a local rodeo and comes away with a special prize: a beautiful Arabian colt. But the horse is soon stolen by Hawkeye, a notorious local rustler. Accompanied by Cricket, a young Paiute who has been his closest companion since infancy, Ira vows to retrieve his prize. On the way, Ira must find the courage to overcome the challenges of nature and outlaw, and to love the woman of his choice. This vivid tale will thrill readers with its authentic depiction of Nevada's lonely back country, its hardy ranchers, and its native peoples. Ira Hamilton's adventure shows us the last days of the Old West, when cowboys, sheepmen, and Indians still struggled to survive and overcome their long-standing animosities, and violent men rode boldly and unhindered across the harsh landscape.
As a stabilizing force in the American West, ranch families play a critical role in our country. They contribute to our nation with the food they raise, the resources they manage, and the environments and heritage they preserve. Award-winning author Linda Hussa offers readers an intimate view into the lives of six diverse ranching families. Photographer Madeleine Graham Blake provides engaging and often moving images that portray each family at work and at play. Chapters on the critical issues facing them, such as grazing rights, water use, and education, set these profiles in a larger context. This is family ranching as it is now, a tracing of how it always was, but made far more complex in modern times. The family ranch in the twenty-first century faces many challenges, from competition with government-subsidized agribusiness corporations to tax laws that encourage development over agriculture and prevent the smooth transfer of land from one generation to the next. By combining their traditions with the tools of modern technology, these people strengthen the ideal of family and give their business a vibrant and viable future. The text and photographs of The Family Ranch will inspire fresh thinking about tradition, values, and responsibility.
Mary Austin University of Nevada Press, 2001 Library of Congress SF375.4.C2A88 2001 | Dewey Decimal 636.3083097948
This classic novel, first published in 1906 and based on Mary Austin's own experiences, captures the way of life of shepherds in the Sierra. Austin blends natural history, politics, and allegory in a genre-blurring narrative, championing local shepherds in their losing battle against the quickly developing tourist business in the Western Sierra during the nineteenth century. Austin had met many shepherds while visiting the Tejon ranches of Edward Beale and Henry Miller, and cultivated relationships with men others often thought of as ignorant, unambitious, and dirty, listening closely to their stories. Her neighbors were scandalized, but Austin respected the shepherds’ ways of thinking. Rather than portray these shepherds’ lives as part of a romantic bygone era, in this novel, she instead positions them as exemplifying potentially radical ways of living in and thinking about the world. Afterword by Barney Nelson.
Until the U.S. Army claimed 300-plus square miles of hardscrabble land to build Fort Hood in 1942, small communities like Antelope, Pidcoke, Stampede, and Okay scratched out a living by growing cotton and ranching goats on the less fertile edges of the Texas Hill Country. While a few farmers took jobs with construction crews at Fort Hood to remain in the area, almost the entire population—and with it, an entire segment of rural culture—disappeared into the rest of the state. In Harder than Hardscrabble, oral historian Thad Sitton collects the colorful and frequently touching stories of the pre–Fort Hood residents to give a firsthand view of Texas farming life before World War II. Accessible to the general reader and historian alike, the stories recount in vivid detail the hardships and satisfactions of daily life in the Texas countryside. They describe agricultural practices and livestock handling as well as life beyond work: traveling peddlers, visits to towns, country schools, medical practices, and fox hunting. The anecdotes capture a fast-disappearing rural society—a world very different from today’s urban Texas.
"Age and size ain't got nothin' to do with it," Mack's daddy once said. "You gotta want to be a cowboy." Mack Hughes wanted to be a cowboy, all right, and he was just twelve years old when he went to work for the famous Hashknife spread in northern Arizona. Growing up on the range, Mack lived a life about which modern boys can only wonder. He spins yarns of bad horses and the men who rode them, tells of wild dogs that ravaged young calves, and recalls lonely winter weeks spent at a remote camp-where his home was a shack so flimsy that snow blew through the cracks and covered his bed.
Stella Hughes, author of the best-selling Chuck Wagon Cookin' and a cowhand in her own right, has compiled from her husband's reminiscences an authentic look both at Arizona history and at cowboying as it really was. Illustrated by Joe Beeler, founding member of the Cowboy Artists of America.
Texas's King Ranch has become legendary for a long list of innovations, the most enduring of which is the development of the first official cattle breed in the Americas, the Santa Gertrudis. Among those who played a crucial role in the breed's success were Librado and Alberto "Beto" Maldonado, master showmen of the King Ranch. A true "bull whisperer," Librado Maldonado developed a method for gentling and training cattle that allowed him and his son Beto to show the Santa Gertrudis to their best advantage at venues ranging from the famous King Ranch auctions to a Chicago television studio to the Dallas–Fort Worth airport. They even boarded a plane with the cattle en route to the International Fair in Casablanca, Morocco, where they introduced the Santa Gertrudis to the African continent.
In The Master Showmen of King Ranch, Beto Maldonado recalls an eventful life of training and showing King Ranch Santa Gertrudis. He engagingly describes the process of teaching two-thousand-pound bulls to behave "like gentlemen" in the show ring, as well as the significant logistical challenges of transporting them to various high-profile venues around the world. His reminiscences, which span more than seventy years of King Ranch history, combine with quotes from other Maldonado family members, co-workers, and ranch owners to shed light on many aspects of ranch life, including day-to-day work routines, family relations, women's roles, annual celebrations, and the enduring ties between King Ranch owners and the vaquero families who worked on the ranch through several generations.
In No Place Like Home, Linda Hasselstrom ponders the changing nature of community in the modern West, where old family ranches are being turned into subdivisions and historic towns are evolving into mean, congested cities. Her scrutiny, like her life, moves back and forth between her ranch on the South Dakota prairie and her house in an old neighborhood at the edge of downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming. The vignettes that form the foundation of her consideration are drawn from the communities she has known during her life in the West, reflecting on how they have grown, thrived, failed, and changed, and highlighting the people and decisions that shaped them. Hasselstrom’s ruminations are both intensely personal and universal. She laments the disappearance of the old prairie ranches and the rural sense of community and mutual responsibility that sustained them, but she also discovers that a spirit of community can be found in unlikely places and among unlikely people. The book defines her idea of how a true community should work, and the kind of place she wants to live in. Her voice is unique and honest, both compassionate and cranky, full of love for the harsh, hauntingly beautiful short-grass prairie that is her home, and rich in understanding of the intricacies of the natural world around her and the infinite potentials of human commitment, hope, and greed. For anyone curious about the state of the contemporary West, Hasselstrom offers a report from the front, where nature and human aspirations are often at odds, and where the concepts of community and mutual responsibility are being redefined.
In the high country of the northern Wasatch Mountains, lies what is left of one of the West’s largest ranches. Deseret Live Stock Company was reputed at various times to be the largest private landholder in Utah and the single biggest producer of wool in the world. The ranch began as a sheep operation, but as it found success, it also ran cattle. Incorporated in the 1890s by a number of northern Utah ranchers who pooled their resources, the company was at the height of successful operations in the mid-twentieth century when a young Dean Frischknecht, bearing a recent degree in animal science, landed the job of sheep foreman. In his memoir he recounts in detail how Deseret managed huge herds of livestock, vast lands, and rich wildlife and recalls through lively anecdotes how stockmen and their families lived and worked in the Wasatch Mountains and Skull Valley’s desert wintering grounds.
Ostrich: (A Comic Novel)
Michael A. Thomas University of Nevada Press, 2000 Library of Congress PS3570.H5739O88 2000 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Nevada sheep rancher Sabine Eckleberry’s life is in shambles. His wife has decamped to Arizona to run a dog-grooming business; his youngest daughter needs a husband; his irrepressible son VJ wants to turn the ranch into an ostrich-breeding operation; and the wild burros he has adopted to guard his sheep can’t get along with their charges. Now his family and friends are about to descend on the ranch to celebrate Sabine’s seventy-second birthday. The ranch is soon a chaos of budding and blighted romances, mistaken identities, rampaging poodles, runaway sheep, schemes of seduction and sudden wealth, and a newly hatched ostrich chick in search of love. Novelist Michael A. Thomas has created a cast of memorable human characters, a supporting cast of realistic animal personalities, and a colorful setting in Nevada’s rangeland. His keen ear for dialogue and his perfect timing support a plot as complicated and satisfying as a Shakespearean comedy.
Jo Jeffers; Foreword by Katherine Jensen University of Arizona Press, 1993 Library of Congress CT275.J45A3 1993 | Dewey Decimal 979.105092
When Jo Jeffers was a young girl suffering from asthma, she promised herself, "When I grow up, if I ever do, I shall go to Arizona and be a cowboy." She did both, and Ranch Wife tells the story of her life as wife and partner of a rancher in the high country of northeastern Arizona. Here she describes the routines of ranch life and vividly recalls the dust storms, plagues, and other hazards that challenged the young city-bred woman. It offers readers not only an insider's view of a working ranch but also an appreciation of how ranchers' wives help sustain such a rugged enterprise.
Linda Hussa University of Utah Press, 2002 Library of Congress F845.D84 2002 | Dewey Decimal 978.10082091734
In the lightly-populated northwestern corner of Nevada, a former geologist and rural schoolteacher, a published poet and ranch owner, and an artist and environmentalist make for an intriguing—perhaps even unlikely—trio of friends. In this evocative collection of personal essays, each offers her voice as a testament to the joys and struggles of creating a home and connecting to the land and the people who live there.
Stories of ranch hands and Ladies’ Clubs, raising chickens and raising children, pulling up roots and planting dreams tumble together in a mélange of lives lived well and thoughtfully. Sharing Fencelines is as much about art as it is about activism, as much about personal growth as it is about growing community. What these women offer us is the sweet taste of what is possible, and the blended harmony of their voices echoes across the mountains and washes and deserts, resonating in our own hearts, our own homes.
Carolyn Dufurrena’s "The Flying Heart Museum" pays homage to a layered landscape of unique individuals—not the least of which are her students, searching for themselves in the Nevada wilderness: "You know how your spirit betrays you when you’re not thinking to protect yourself. Jose has been dreaming, doodling away, and his pencil has discovered this flying heart, as big as the Puritan meetinghouse....He has drawn the log cabin around the heart, and labeled it. At recess I ask him, gently, 'So, Jose, what’s in there, in your Flying Heart Museum?'"
In "Shared Fencelines," Linda Hussa reveals the mystery of horses, the gift of water, and the serendipity of love: "My first hurt came from a horse when I tried to shinny up the feathered leg of our old gelding as I’d seen my brother and sister do. Twelve hundred pounds of him stepped on my bare foot. Mom carried her shrieking two-year-old to the house...she cut off the dangling nail saying Popeye didn’t mean to, he just didn’t notice my little foot. Then she cradled my face in her cool hands and said she hoped I would forgive him and we could be friends again."
"Fire Hall" by Sophie Sheppard paints a picture of a families and communities forged against the backdrop of a rugged, rural life: "Here, when there is a funeral, the whole town comes. First to arrive are the older women, vestiges of the Lake City Ladies Club that was disbanded a few years ago because most of the younger women have jobs and no longer stay at home. At the potluck funeral dinner everyone will file in together: the women unfamiliar in dresses ordered from catalogs, the mens' hatless foreheads glowing pale in contrast to the tan of their freshly shaven jaws, the younger people that I won’t recognize."
Set in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, the stories are a loosely tied string of old timer's yarns with a continuing cast of engaging characters, whom Kiskaddon avoids reducing to cowboy stereotypes. They include, as Siems describes them, "Kiskaddon himself as the character Shorty. As a common waddy with a small man's feistiness and a young man's mischief, Shorty encounters the wicked world with a succession of companions: Bill, high-headed and a bit of an outlaw; Rildy Briggs, untamable and unstoppable young cowgirl; and Ike, an old-fashioned dandy and 'a very fortunate person.' More or less in the background is the Boss-actually a series of Bosses-generally affectionately respected as long as he remains democratic in his dealings with the waddies. Buffoonery is provided by a succession of pompous characters, from townspeople who look down their noses on wild, unwashed waddies to professors from the East who have read books on how ranches should be run."
Tales of the Wild Horse Desert
By Betty Bailey Colley and Jane Clements Monday University of Texas Press, 2001 Library of Congress F395.M5C65 2001 | Dewey Decimal 976.4
Highly skilled, hard-working, and loyal to each other and to the ranches that employ them, the Mexican and Mexican American vaqueros who work on the famous King and Kenedy Ranches of South Texas’ Wild Horse Desert are some of America’s best cowboys. Many of them come from families who have lived and worked on the ranches for over a hundred years. They preserve the memories of ranch life handed down by their grandparents and great-grandparents, even as they use modern technologies to keep the ranches running smoothly in the twenty-first century. This book tells the stories of the vaqueros of the Wild Horse Desert for fourth- through eighth-grade students. It begins with a brief history of the vaqueros and the King and Kenedy Ranches. Then, using in the words of today’s vaqueros and their families, it describes many aspects of past and present life on the ranches. Young readers will learn what it’s like to grow up on the ranches and how vaqueros learn their work. They’ll also discover how much goes into being a vaquero, from using all the different ropes and equipment, to working a round-up, to showing prize-winning cattle and horses. Teachers and parents will appreciate all the supplemental material in the appendix, including a glossary, lists of related books and websites, hands-on learning activities, and even range and camp house recipes.
This true story of the Texas brush range and the first cowboys, as thrilling as any tale of fiction, has become a classic in Western literature. It is the story of the land where cattle by tens of thousands were killed on the prairie and where the "Skinning War" was fought. It is the story of the Chisholm Trail up to Abilene and the Platte and of establishing a ranch on the free grass of the Texas Panhandle, of roping elk in Colorado, of trailing Billy the Kid in New Mexico, of the grim lands of the Pecos. And it is the story of John Young, old-time vaquero who was trail driver, hog chaser, sheriff, ranger, hunter of Mexican bandits, horse thief killer, prairie fire fighter, ranch manager, and other things—a man who was also something of a dreamer, a man of imagination.
Founded before the Civil War, the King and Kenedy Ranches have become legendary for their size, their wealth, and their endless herds of cattle. A major factor in the longevity of these ranches has always been the loyal workforce of vaqueros (Mexican and Mexican American cowboys) and their families. Some of the vaquero families have worked on the ranches through five or six generations. In this book, Jane Clements Monday and Betty Bailey Colley bring together the voices of these men and women who make ranching possible in the Wild Horse Desert. From 1989 to 1995, the authors interviewed more than sixty members of vaquero families, ranging in age from 20 to 93. Their words provide a panoramic view of ranch work and life that spans most of the twentieth century. The vaqueros and their families describe all aspects of life on the ranches, from working cattle and doing many kinds of ranch maintenance to the home chores of raising children, cooking, and cleaning. The elders recall a life of endless manual labor that nonetheless afforded the satisfaction of jobs done with skill and pride. The younger people describe how modernization has affected the ranches and changed the lifeways of the people who work there.
Ferrell Secakuku remembers the ancient farming rites of his Hopi people but saw them replaced by a cash economy. Sheep rancher Joe Manterola recalls watching hard scrabble farms on what is now tree-studded grassland on Garland Prairie. Navajo Rose Gishie once saw freshly dug holes fill with clean, drinkable water where none rises today. All over northern Arizona, people have seen the landscapes change, and livelihoods with them. In this remarkable book they share their stories.
Thirteen narratives—from ranchers, foresters, scientists, Native American farmers, and others—tell how northern Arizona landscapes and livelihoods reflect rapid social and environmental change. The twentieth century saw huge changes as Arizona’s human population swelled and vacation-home developments arose in the backcountry. Riparian areas dried up, cattle ranching declined, and some wildlife species vanished while others thrived. The people whose words are preserved here have watched it all happen.
The book is a product of Northern Arizona University’s Ecological Oral Histories project, which has been collecting remembrances of long-time area residents who have observed changes to the land from the 1930s to the present day. It carves a wide swath, from the Arizona Strip to the Mogollon Rim, from valleys near Prescott to the New Mexico line. It takes readers to the Bar Heart Ranch north of Williams and to the Doy Reidhead Ranch southeast of Holbrook, to the forests of Flagstaff and the mesas of Indian country.
Enhanced with more than fifty illustrations, this book brings environmental change down to earth by allowing us to see it through the eyes of those whose lives it has directly touched. What Has Passed and What Remains is a window on the past that carries important lessons for the future.