We are in New Mexico, visiting our great good friends, Jack and Tuda Crews. Several years ago (can it be 15?!), they left Wyoming and moved to Bueyeros, New Mexico, where Tuda’s family has ranched for many generations. The Ute Creek Ranch has been recognized for its conservation practices, including the New Mexico Society for Range Management Excellence in Range Management award. Tuda and Jack have vastly improved their range and their riparian areas, in spite of many years of drought.
Pat, Jack and Tuda look at the Aqua Balls on their watering tank
The Aqua Balls reduce evaporation by 91 percent. This saves 16,000 gallons of groundwater in a year, at this tank alone. The tank is windmill driven and also provides water for wildlife.
Each watering tank on The ranch has an overflow pond, which provides bird habitat.
St. Francis overlooks the ranch headquarters, and the Tuda Libby Crews Wild Bird Sanctuary.
Northern New Mexico used to have lots of sheep, but these were the only ones we could find.
Patrick and Sharon O'Toole are ranchers in the Little Snake River Valley on the Wyoming-Colorado border. They represent the fourth generation on the six-generation family ranch. The O'Tooles raise cattle, sheep, horses, dogs and children on their high country ranching operation. The transhumance operation stretches from north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado to Wyoming's Red Desert.
Pat has served in the Wyoming House of Representatives, the Western Water Policy Commission, and is currently President of the Family Farm Alliance, representing irrigators and water users in the western United States.
Sharon is a writer and poet. She writes extensively on western issues, and the relationship between landscape, animals and people. She is widely published as an author, essayist and editorial commentator.
Sharon's father George, 89, passed away December 25, 2010. He lived much of his life in the house where he was born, and remained active in the day-to-day life of the ranch. Mr. Salisbury was a decorated World War II veteran, a former member of Wyoming's House of Representatives, and former President of Wyoming's Board of Agriculture.
Pat and Sharon have three children. Their daughter, Meghan and her husband Brian Lally, live on the ranch with their children, Siobhán, Seamus, Maeve and Tiarnán. Meghan also served on the Wyoming Board of Agriculture, and she and Brian are active in community service. Daughter Bridget lives in Denver with her husband, Chris Abel, where she works in public relations and he serves agriculture in the food business. Son Eamon and his wife Megan live on the ranch with their sons, McCoy and Rhen. Eamon is a horseman and natural resource manager, and Megan is a nurse.
The blog traces the activities and life on the ranch, from the mundane to the fabulous.