A few weeks ago, Roy Smith hard-copy mailed this poem to Pie N Politics.com
This cowboy is an incredible poet with an astonishing humor and wit. And he also has really good handwriting.
He probably forgot that I had taken this photo of him about 8 years ago — give or take a year or two. This is in the mountains between Yreka, California and Klamath Falls, Oregon near what was once a lumber town of Tennant. Or Roy probably hoped I couldn’t find the picture in my deep file of photos.
It is past time that we publish this poem. Roy is a rancher in neighboring Shasta Valley fighting the same problems as Scott Valley with the intrusion of the California Fish and Game agency trying to reduce the amount of water that ranchers can use.
It needs to be remembered that this water, the government wants, is a legal Water Right and as such is a property right.
Does the government have a right to de-value your property?
“The Fish and Game”
We have to save the Coho salmon
But, the records are so very new
Was there ever very many?
Was there always just a few?
They ruined families, homes and towns,
So the Spotted Owl could have its way.
But, we’ve never really heard
If the owl is better off today.
We fenced our land along the creeks
It’s not as scenic as it was.
But everybody volunteered.
They said it was a worthy cause.
We went to meeting after meeting
Just to learn what we could do.
We learned, we were expendable
And they want the water too!
In the cruelest trick of all,
If the Fish and Game should have their say;
We will have to buy a permit
To give our Water Rights away?
By Roy Smith
For Pie N Politics.com
Here a young cowboy is trailing the cattle back to the corrals in the Tennant area. It was autumn and time for the cow herd to go home to the valley pasture and ranch before the deep snows hit. Mt. Shasta isn’t far from this high plateau and was looming in the distance.