The majority of Cariboo ranches are now branding; on large places the regular crew handles the task in successive sessions while on smaller ranches, a single-branding will suffice. Generally scheduled for a weekend day when a larger pool of family/friends is available, a branding which is typically more social in nature as good food and a cold brew usually take the place of pay. On bigger outfits, brandings are all in a day’s work.
Not long after it’s turnout time for those who hold grazing leases on Crown land. This takes cattle out into areas where there is far greater likelihood of public interaction with those who venture out into the back woods hiking, biking and exploring on side roads and trails. If you meet, please give them space, allow a wide berth!
Now, the refrain of ‘the Ranchers-Lament’ — if you can open the gate, can’t you then close it behind you, if you bring it when you come (diapers (dirty)/fast food containers), why can’t you take it when you go?
Not all folks display such awful behaviour, however, many are found guilty (judged in absentia) by ranchers and other country-dwellers (Cariboo-wide) who are left to deal with garbage-strewn road sides. How can this be, in a province where most declare themselves environmentally-aware? There appears to be a huge disconnect between thought and actual practise as many seem to have no qualms as they chuck trash from car windows.
And — gates! Imagine — you have a house guest staying in your home all summer long; almost every time you return (home) they have gone out, leaving every door in your house wide open. You have a number of unwelcome (uninvited) guests — a neighbour’s pet (cat, dog, chickens), a cloud of bees, a cluster of insects or a burglar! Would that not annoy you on some level?
Yep, thought it might. So, please, close the gate!
Liz Twan is a rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.