Pat and I attended the 2012 Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada earlier this month. It is put on by this blog’s sponsor, the Western Folklife Center. If you are not already a fan, visit their website. A link is posted to the right.
I usually say that these folks are geniuses to lure people to northern Nevada in late January/early February, but if you offer enough fun, great Cowboy Poetry, Western (NOT country and western) music, wonderful food, great art, and the opportunity to pony up to the bar at the Center’s Headquarters in the old Pioneer Hotel, you can get it done.
Did I mention really interesting workshops? Many of the workshops involve creating cowboy gear such as braided leather latigos and felt cowboy hats, but one can also learn Western style dancing, authentic home cooking and relevant writing. This year we assisted with two workshops. “Get Along Little Bloggies” was taught by Teresa Jordan, and I was very much more a student than an assistant (finally got WordPress broke to lead, I think). Pat and I were on a panel whose topic was Crossing Boundaries: Ranching in the 21st Century. The discussion centered on collaborative conservation, meaning working with other folks and other groups to achieve common goals. In our complicated ranching operation, we not only work with our neighbors and others in our community, but with state and federal agencies and with interest groups.
Instead of just constantly having fun, we took some time to visit our friends Steve and Robin Boies, who ranch north of Wells. Actually, the tour they gave us of the conservation work they have done IS our idea of a good time.
When we got home, some folks from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were at our ranch for a tour of the work that we have done on our fishery on Battle Creek (with the Partners for Fish and Wildlife), and that our neighbors have done on Savery Creek and the Little Snake River with our Conservation District.
We did have a really good time seeing great poets, musicians and artists. If you want to see those photos, visit the Folklife Center’s website.
Here are some photos of our recent experiences with collaborative conservation.