Our road crosses through BLM land, and its just about this time of year when the native grasses are coming in, that they lease this area to free- range cattle. This herd had just been released within the hour from a huge hauler parked on the south side of the road. In case you're not familiar with the agency, Bureau of Land Management owns over half of Nevada. If it's not privately owned, it belongs to BLM, and we don't always like each other.
BLM is a federal agency that owns the grazing rights to its lands. Ranchers and cowboys, or buckaroos as they're called here, can rent the grass for their cattle during the growing season.
The cattle are milling around, content to chew their way north, but traffic will pick up after 5:00 and these guys need to be away from the road. Every year, one or two are hit and killed by tired drivers going too fast.
This one cowboy and his three working dogs are going to drive the herd north, up into the Sand Hills range, which is also an antelope and mule deer refuge.
I wish you could hear him giving his dogs instruc-
tions with the oddest of wordless melodic calls. The dogs get it and have moved all the cattle to the north side of the road. Cattle aren’t romantic, even though I can’t help but get swept away when I see a buckaroo and his dogs in action. They are nothing short of magnificent, and then for the moment I forget how destructive herds of cattle are to the native habitat
Just that quick, he has organized the drive. You can see them moving in a stream over the rise and into the next valley. Our drive is home with the groceries. Lucky us for good timing.
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