Marty’s photo of the day #4235: This shot is from last September, during Deb’s, Nellie’s, and my second weeklong stay in the American Prairie of central Montana. Before I moved to Montana, in 1996, I had no opinion of ranchers, but since then ranchers have convinced me that they are among the most selfish people in Montana. (Inserting my obligatory “most, not all” statement here.)

Ranchers get ridiculously cheap grazing rights to graze their cattle on public lands all of us own. Even so, they are the #1 enemy of wolves and bison, and they place anti-American Prairie signs all over central Montana, because they are fucking selfish.

What is the American Prairie’s “crime?” They are buying up ranch land from willing sellers, trying to piece back together the largest natural prairie in America, and making parts of it home to bison.

Most of the whining ranchers are, of course, Republicans, so Montana’s Republican politicians take their side. Think about that for a minute: all the American Prairie is doing is buying up land and returning bison to their natural habitat. Also, anyone wishing to enjoy the prairie can do so for free. I thought Republicans were for private property rights!

Yeah, I want to scream every time I hear a rancher say, “Ranchers are the original environmentalists!” That hypocritical statement goes right up there with hunters and their high-powered rifles who proclaim, “I believe in a fair chase!”