Monday, March 20, 2017

video - Burying Their Cattle, Ranchers Call Wildfires ‘Our Hurricane Katrina’

Death comes with raising cattle: coyotes, blizzards and the inevitable trip to the slaughterhouse and dinner plate. But after 30 years of ranching, Mark and Mary Kaltenbach were not ready for what met them after a wildfire charred their land and more than one million acres of rain-starved range this month. Dozens of their Angus cows lay dead on the blackened ground, hooves jutting in the air. Others staggered around like broken toys, unable to see or breathe, their black fur and dark eyes burned, plastic identification tags melted to their ears. Young calves lay dying. Ranching families across this countryside are now facing an existential threat to a way of life that has sustained them since homesteading days: years of cleanup and crippling losses after wind-driven wildfires across Kansas, Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle killed seven people and devoured homes, miles of fences and as much as 80 percent of some families’ cattle herds. But for many, the first job after the fire passed was loading a rifle. “We did what had to be done,” Mr. Kaltenbach, 69, said. “They’re gentle. They know us. We know them. You just thought, ‘Wow, I am sorry.’” Continue reading the main story Recent Comments patsy47 19 minutes ago This is a dreadful, heartbreaking situation. Disasters of this magnitude are beyond the abilities of individuals, even small groups and... Mark 19 minutes ago Maybe trump, on his now regular week-end $3 million vacations, might fly over these people he conned and drop a few dollars from a window.... InkyGlass 19 minutes ago Sorry to say but our dear Mr Trump was very busy this weekend. he was playing golf. And the news papers are very busy covering the F.B.I.... See All Comments Write a comment “You think you’re done,” he said, “and the next day you got to go shoot more.” For decades and generations, ranching has defined people’s days. Mr. Kaltenbach would wake up at 4:30 a.m. without an alarm clock. Another family down the road, the Wilsons, checked on the cows between jobs at the hospital and the telephone company. The Wilsons invited their whole family over each spring to round up the calves, vaccinate and tag them. “It’s our life,” Mrs. Kaltenbach, 57, said. “We lost our routine.” Beyond the toll of the fire, a frustration also crops up in conversation after conversation. Ranchers said they felt overlooked amid the tumult in Washington, and were underwhelmed by the response of a new president who had won their support in part by promising to champion America’s “forgotten men and women.”...more

The  TNY Times video:

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