Here I am out riding on my ranch, a typical westerner.
How big is my spread? Well it's about 700-million acres, and the funny thing is it's your ranch too, if you're an American citizen. The ranch is the U.S. public lands, our great national commons.
Trouble is there are a lot folks around who want to steal our land. . . plenty of them here in Idaho. Lots of them are politicians -- as Mark Twain said, "our only native criminal class."
My goals are different. I want to put a few more wolves and grizzly bears on the ranch and run a few less cattle. I tend to favor real elk over "slow elk" and bighorn sheep over sheep. Some folks say that's perverse. Maybe it's because like most westerners my ranch house and my job are in the city. In my case that's the huge metropolis of Pocatello, Idaho (pop. 52,000).
As a real westerner, as opposed to the mythical westerner, I was born and raised in suburban Utah -- Logan. Our family spent some time in Rexburg, Idaho, where my father (Ralph, I'm Jr.) coached at Ricks College. He finished his 37 year career as track coach at Utah State University.
I'm a prof and an outdoor enthusiast! We real westerners may be disenfranchised by our increasingly corrupt politicians, but I'll never be quiet about it!