Friday, January 9, 2015

Matters of preception. "Rancher"

This past Sunday, the local paper ran an article on Frank Robbins.

Robbins is a Thermopolis area landowner who ranches around that area.  Often the articles about him repeat his often stated desire, at age 59, to protect his way of life from the Federal government.  He's been involved in a variety of spats with the government since he showed up there.

Yes, I said showed up. Robbins bought three or so ranches in that area and combined them into one, after selling a ranch in Montana.  He did that about a decade or more ago.  And he came into Montana from Alabama.

In Alabama, apparently, he was in the lumber and flooring business, and did very well at it. So well that he amassed a fortune of this type, or so I've read, seeing as I only know about him what I've read.

Now, out of staters coming in to ranch isn't new, it's indeed the original story of ranching in the region.  Homesteaders were not, after all, from here.  But in terms of "way of life", do you have a good claim to that in an area you aren't native too, particularly as the modern story of ranching is that the vast amount of money required to buy a ranch now effectively means that locals, including many families and individuals with strong connections, are priced out of owning their own places.  In a way, Robbins is preventing other people, purely accidentally, from engaging in their way of life, as we're from here and don't have that kind for fortune.  Under those circumstances the "way of life" claims rings pretty hollow to natives.

1 comment:

Shay said...

"Protecting my way of life" all to often is code for taking advantage of everything the government has to offer with one hand and pitching a hissy about taxes or environmental regulations with the other.