Land Ethic with Albert Sommers

“When my dad died and then my mom died and my sister and I sat down to decide the future of this ranch, we wanted to ensure that this place would not become developed and that we would retain agriculture and wildlife on this landscape and on our ranch, too. That’s why we worked towards selling a conservation easement.

“I think it really goes back to my dad. It’s almost like a Muir quote or something. But my dad said a few things to me during the course of his life. He was certainly just a cowboy. He was just a straight up cowboy. And, you know, and one day, I’m not lying, we had like 100 head of deer on top of a haystack, around a haystack, one winter. And and I was griping about the hay and the mess they were making and those dang deer. And, ‘you know,’ he said, ‘they were here before we were.’ The other thing that he told me is that if you take care of a cow, she’ll take care of you. And in order to take care of a cow, you have to take care of the land.

“And I think having that, that ethic, that conservation and land ethic… I call it a land ethic more than anything. I don’t know a rancher or I don’t know very many ranchers, I should say, that don’t love wildlife, love cattle, love sheep… it’s just part of our heritage. It’s part of our culture. Always has been.”

Read more about Albert’s land ethic in action

The Voice of Stewardship in the American West.