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Cattle in the Cold Desert was originally published by Utah State University Press in 1985. University of Nevada Press, Reno, Nevada 89557 usa New material copyright © 2002 by University of Nevada Press All rights reserved Manufactured in the United States of America Design by Carrie House Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Young, James A. (James Albert), 1937– Cattle in the cold desert / James A. Young and B. Abbott Sparks. p. cm. Originally published: Logan, Utah : Utah State University Press, © 1985. isbn 0-87417-503-8 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Beef cattle—Great Basin—History—19th century. 2. Ranchers—Great Basin—History—19th century. 3. Ranchers—Great Basin—Biography. 4. Ranch life—Great Basin—History—19th century. 5. Range ecology—Great Basin—History—19th century. 6. Sparks, John, 1843–1908. 7. Harrell, Jasper, 1830–1901. 8. Grazing—Environmental aspects—Great Basin— History—19th century. 9. Great Basin—History—19th century. I. Sparks, B. Abbott, 1919– . II. Title. sf196.u5y68 2002 636.2'00979—dc21 2002008742 The paper used in this book meets the requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ansi z39.48-1984. Binding materials were selected for strength and durability. 11 10 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 5 4 3 2 1 To the Memory of John Sparks, Cattleman, and to those who followed on to the New Lands List of Illustrations, viii Acknowledgments, ix Introduction, xi Prologue: Five Days in August, 1 Part I The Open Land 1. Gray Ocean of Sagebrush, 19 2. The Exploitation Pageant, 37 3. Left-Hand Trail to Hell, 57 4. Texas Cattle and Cattlemen, 70 Part II The Land Acquired 5. Buy, Beg, Borrow, or Steal a Ranch, 89 6. John Sparks: Capital, Credit, and Courage, 101 7. White Winter: White Hills of Bones, 119 8. Water: The Finite Resource, 137 Part III The Land in Transition 9. Making Hay in the Great Basin, 155 10. From Dugouts to Cattle Empires, 180 11. Herefords in the Sagebrush, 194 12. Horses, Tame and Wild in the Sagebrush, 212 Part IV The Land Answers 13. The Passing of the Old Guard, 237 Epilogue,257 Notes, 271 Equivalency Name Table, 303 Index, 307 contents illustrations photographs Open range, 16–17 Cattle on playa, 86–87 Early haying, 152–153 John Sparks, 234–235 figures Figure 1. Boundary of the Great Basin, xiii Figure 2. Sagebrush communities distributed on alluvial fans, 26 I greatly appreciate the many hours Glenda Eskstrom and Jamie Peer spent typing the many drafts of this manuscript. Appreciation is also expressed to Guy Rocha, Nevada State Archivist, and Phil Earl, Nevada HistoricalSociety,whowerealwaysreadytohelptrackdowndetailsand sources. The interlibrary loan staV of the Life and Health Sciences and Getchell Libraries, University of Nevada, spent many hours obtaining material used in this manuscript. I am equally appreciative of the many otherlibrariansandindividualswhoprovidedanswerstomynumerous requests. SeveralindividualswiththeAgriculturalResearchServiceoftheU.S. DepartmentofAgricultureencouragedandpromptedthedevelopment of this manuscript. They include Dr. Raymond A. Evans, Research Leader;Dr.EdwardB.Knipling,formerAreaDirector;andDr.PeterH. VanSchaik,formerAssociateAreaDirector. HowardShermancontributed both his encouragement and his skill as an editor to this project. Newton and Andy Harrell of Twin Falls, Idaho, provided a valuable link between the present and such past historical characters as Henry Harris. The Wrsthand accounts of these two cowboys sparkle with the XavorandcoloroftheglorydaysoftheSparks-Harrellranchingempire. I am very grateful to Dr. Charles S. Peterson, Utah State University, for believing in the potential contribution of Cattle in the Cold Desert to western history. Special thanks to Alexa West and Linda Speth, Utah State University Press, for taking a chance on a diVerent kind of history manuscript . Most of all, I thank my wife, Cheryl, and my children, Theresa, Patrick, and Nancy Yini, for their patience and understanding. James A. Young IwishtoexpressmysincereappreciationtoJimYoungforhisinvitation to join him in this work, which he conceived and researched throughout acknowledgments ...


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