Creating Miracles in the Desert
Stewardship • 10m
FEATURING: Luke Barrett, Nycole Burton, Gene Casci, Cammy Evans, Carol Evans, Jon Griggs.
A true story of how balanced grazing is bringing water and resiliency to a rare desert riparian area, even through drought. In Nevada, the driest state, rancher Jon Griggs says there’s a saying–“whisky’s for drinking, water’s for fighting.” Jon, and other northeastern Nevada stakeholders (including public lands management officials, outdoorsmen, Elko County residents, and local cattle and wildlife) all stand to benefit from healthy waterways in these “sagebrush working lands.” Riparian areas like Dixie Creek form wet, life-sustaining, green ribbons that wind through an otherwise arid West. Streams have stories to tell, and this small desert stream has a big story of hope and cooperation. After 32 years of small voluntary changes leading to big riparian recovery, Jon proves that perhaps the saying should be “water’s for sharing” (whisky, on the other hand, that’s debatable).
Throughout the years, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering has featured the poetry and music of ranch country, and has also been a space to consider practices and ideas about what it means to live on, and from, the land. And, what it means to share ties to the land. Elko County rancher (and chair of the Western Folklife Center Board of Trustees) Jon Griggs and retired Bureau of Land Management wetlands biologist Carol Evans have been key figures in northeastern Nevada stewardship conversations and regular participants in stewardship programs at the Gathering. Here, they share a story about water and hope, about what they’ve learned together, and about the better future they envision for all.
Dixie Creek is a small stream near Elko, Nevada. Changes in livestock grazing practices resulted in the plants that naturally grow along streams to come back which eventually attracted beaver. The beaver built dams which captured and slowed stream flows, ultimately creating a landscape full of water and wildlife even during recent periods of severe drought. Interviews with stakeholders show how a recovered stream can benefit a wide range of interests and offer hope for a better future. The story of Dixie Creek’s recovery was produced by Reno, Nevada-based production company, Little Wild, and co-funded by the IWJV/BLM and NRCS/WLFW.
Filmed on location at Dixie Creek and Maggie Creek Ranch Headquarters in northeastern Nevada.
Shared with you on Western Folklife TV thanks to Partners in the Sage, read more at https://www.partnersinthesage.com/blog/video-miracles-in-the-desert. Produced by Little Wild (Reno, NV). Copyright: MB01GNDP5MQD4FY
Brought to you by the Western Folklife Center, using story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.
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