Flat Rock Ranch
The drama of this landscape isn’t in the obvious, it’s in the nuances – the light hits a certain way and it’s full of color, teaming with life; the light fades and it’s flat, nondiscriminating. This terrain has been shaped over time by the elements . . . it is harsh and subtle, unique.
It takes a different eye to see it, you really have to be paying attention, get quiet. It’s a brittle, fragile environment, once it’s been altered, the character of place is forever changed.
The Little Missouri National Grasslands are like a young girl that’s too pretty for her own good . . . everybody wants a piece of her.
Oil development is rampant right now – knocking down hillsides, clearing away the prairie and leaving in its place mazes of roads for huge tankers to race across, and equipment that squeals and pounds day in and day out, breaking the clearness of the silence of the open spaces. The oil breaks down not only the character of the landscape, but also the community that for generations has lived within it.
There is tremendous value in living with nature, of being part of the natural cycle of life. It’s a hard life and not necessarily pretty or fun or romantic, but it builds character. The thing I object to is changing the land – the essence of a place. We should have more respect, let it teach us – it has a lot to tell if we care to listen.
I ‘own’ this ranch but that’s just people language on paper . . . you can’t own place. It’s my privilege to be here, and it’s my job to take care of it as best I can while I’m here.
Flat Rock Ranch
Squaw Gap, ND