Originally published at Global Independent Analytics
When I first moved to Oregon I had no idea what was to transpire almost two decades later. The ranching community where I decided to settle is quiet. Little goes on around here except for the occasional cow wandering across the road, or horse escaping to the next pasture to check out the neighbor’s stud.
You see, it is open range in these parts and people understand that the critters come first. They have the right of way, and anything else is just secondary. The rancher down the road grazes his cattle on the miles of forestry land in the mountains behind his ranch. The people who lived there before him did the same. Nothing much has changed.
The ranchers that graze their cattle on these lands provide water tanks for all the critters to use. I am an ex equine endurance rider, and love the long, slow, distance rides. When I ride my horse on the dirt roads that abound in the mountains out back, I ride through the cattle. The birds flock all around the area and without the ranchers’ constant supply of water, things would be pretty dry around here. This is high desert. Water is precious. Without the water that the ranchers provide I would not be able to ride as far or enjoy the natural surroundings as much as I do. It is peaceful. Quiet. And uneventful.
And then, a shot was fired. The shot heard ‘round the world.