Friday, June 19, 2015

I'm a Wyomingite

       In a small state in Midwestern United States, a herd of wild animals roam freely. They’re an odd bunch, they spend a lot of time outdoors, and many of them wear cowboy hats. There’s about 600 thousand of them, and they all get along rather peacefully. They call themselves “Wyomingites,” and I’m happy to be one of them. Most of all, I’m proud of my state.       
    There’s a lot to be proud of, too. Vast prairie without a sign of civilization for miles and miles. The Tetons, rocky spires shooting up from the ground against a fierce blue Wyoming sky. Yellowstone, the thundering of hundreds of hooves of buffalo like a thousand drums, geysers erupting on all sides. Tranquil streams, with brookies jumping and wildflowers on all fronts. Steamy forest ground, pine trees shooting up hundreds of feet in the air after a recent rainstorm high in the Wind Rivers. Miles of scorching red desert in south-central Wyoming. My favorite, a small, one-room log cabin, nestled in some trees in the Southwestern Wind River Range, a curl of smoke issuing from the chimney. Wyoming has it all, whether you’re a hunter, angler, hiker, explorer, or a combination of them all.
What does it mean to be a Wyomingite? What makes us special? I think it’s a respect of the land and the critters on it. Every single person of our sparse 600K population lives within only a few minutes of wild, untamed land and drop-dead gorgeous views on all fronts. The problem is, these things are disappearing – fast. Miles of open prairie are being replaced by nasty drilling rigs and barbed wire. We had better do something about it, or risk losing our livelihood, everything. To be a Wyomingite is to develop a deep love for the outdoors and everything that roams it. With those taken away, we are nothing. 

-The Ranger