Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Aunt, and Her Way of Life

Remember my trip out west this spring? To Idaho where my hardworking, tough little dynamo Aunt Lori lives?

She has no electricity, relies on a generator when needed, which is powered as much as possible from a solar panel.

She and my late uncle Jay Quilliam are the hardest working people I have ever known. Cattle ranchers, who have always had a flock of sheep. Since my uncle's death 14 years ago, Lori has turned increasingly to her sheep as they are easier for her to handle alone.

Now her way of life is threatened because her property borders state land, Payette National Forest Land, where Bighorn sheep have been re-introduced, or wandered over from Oregon. I'll admit to being unclear about the fine details.

What concerns my aunt is the threat of the Federal Game Department of Idaho, introducing a ban on domestic sheep on lands bordering federal land, to protect the Bighorn sheep from disease. The issue is often made out to be greedy large sheep-running operations vs. a native species, which has a pricey hunting lottery attached to it. A complex issue to be sure. She's one of the little people who get overlooked, who don't have anyone to speak for them. She's not asking to use the federal land for her sheep to graze on, she just wants to make sure she can continue her livelihood on her own land, like she has done for the past 44 years. She loves her home, and would have little if any, income without her sheep.

Lori and I, ask that you please write to:

Payette National Forest
800 West Lakeside
McCall, Idaho, 83683
attention: Big Horn Sheep

Click "contact"

And help her voice be heard.


magnusmog said...

Consider it done!

mary jane said...

Yay! Thank You!

Gina said...

I hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas.

Cristina said...

I wrote, too! Happy New everything! Cristina