Wyoming is the least populated state in the nation. Less than 500,000 people live there, but as anyone who’s visited will tell you, the state is huge. You can drive seven hours east to west and still not cross even half of it. This summer I lived in a small mountain town called Pinedale, in a county nearly the size of Connecticut. I went there to try and get a sense of what it’s like to live, work, and get along in a county that is 80% public lands. While these lands are held in trust for all American citizens, the people who live in Pinedale are the ones who live with public lands every day. Here are some of their voices and stories:
Meet Cat, a writer, storyteller, and sheepherder. Here she talks about her relationship with her guard dogs and tells a story about one special dog, named Rant. Her sheep graze on public land allotments she leases in the Upper Green River Valley. We spoke just outside of the Pinedale library, a beautiful building constructed during the natural gas boom.
Meet Duke, pastor of Wilderness Church in Pinedale and a survivalist guide who leads expeditions into the backcountry.