National Geographic : 1952 Jan
50 Charles J. Belden All-wool Coats Keep Montana Sheep Warm on Snow-covered Grazing Land American sheep ranchers agree that Basques from the Pyrenees make the best herders. Former restric tions against admitting them, sheepmen say, contributed to the numerical decline of United States sheep (page 40). This flock's herder lives a lonely existence in his canvas-covered wagon throughout most of the year. "They love to criticize the riding," an Elko cattleman told me. "And they love to criticize most anything else in the film which does not square up with ranch life as they know it. They would rather see a Western than any other type." Steers Inspect Easterners On Chester Brennen's ranch we saw 200 steers, grass-fattened and ready for market. We stood along a little fringe of trees while his cowboys rounded up the herd and drove them toward us. Within 100 feet they came to a halt, and, with the curiosity of the white face, they stood in a solid line and surveyed us just as intently as we surveyed them. About 50 miles north of Elko lies Spring Creek Ranch, owned by Bing Crosby. The ranch runs about 3,200 head of cattle and ships the yearlings every autumn to Cali fornia markets. The four Crosby sons spend considerable time there, working as ranch hands. The Coffee Hereford Ranch near Fallon, Nevada, received more than ordinary notice last spring when one of its cows gave birth to quadruplets. All of them, two bulls and two heifers, were in good health. Quadruplets have occurred in the cattle world before, but the approximate odds on their birth is three in a million. In Salt Lake City we heard much about reclamation, irrigation, reseeding, and erosion. Reed W. Bailey, director of the U. S. Depart ment of Agriculture's Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station at Ogden, Utah, told us about some of the problems of the area.