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Hard Grass: Life on the Crazy Woman Bison Ranch Hardcover – July 16, 2010
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"Scholar, rancher, hunter, and feminist, Mary Zeiss Stange finally gives the fly-over country of the West what it's been lacking: a nuanced portrait of its people and animals from someone invested in the harsh and beautiful landscape." --Ted Kerasote, author of Bloodties: Nature, Culture, and the Hunt and Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age
From the Inside Flap
These colorful tales highlight the complex relationships that comprise life in the rural West today.
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Mary and Doug Stange have been residents of Carter County, Montana, for 22 years, trying to restore a patch of land, and provide habitat for wildlife. Their backgrounds did not prepare them for the challenge, but working with BLM, FSA, and outside agencies, they have learned, evolved, and operate a successful bison ranch.
Ranch wives attending the December 27, 2010, bookclub meeting, providing more education for the author, contested some of Stange's assertions. Other remarks about opposition to hot branding were agreed with.
Ranching methods are slowly changing in southeastern Montana, but ranchers living on the land are still the best stewards. Stange thinks bison are smarter than cattle, better able to take care of themselves. She would meet opposition to that assertion.
This book contains the best history of southeastern Montana I have ever read, pulling together information from a vast collection of sources. Much of her information came from Carter County Museum, Ekalaka, Montana.
Eleven people gathered to discuss the book: teachers, ranchers, a library board member, restaurateurs, newspaper writers, the author and her husband. It was a wonderful discussion about a book now in a library. I enjoyed the book; read it yourself and see what you think.