On the weekend of Nov. 4, we held an open house attended by
about 60 WWP members and friends. Master chef Claire Casey cooked and choreographed yet
another memorable feast.
It occurred to us that no place this special a place now free of livestock - should be called a ranch, and we appealed to the gathered guests for help. To set the mood, I read "Thinking Like A Mountain" from Leopold's A Sand County Almanac. The essay reflects the values we want to bestow on the preserve, so we kept it in mind as we considered a suitable name. Greenfire, submitted by Ralph Maughan, struck a chord with all of us.
Later in November, we learned about BPA's high-priority projects. I met with BPA and IDFG representatives to determine if retirement of the Salmon River Breaks allotment would fit the criteria of these projects and if the agencies would support such a proposal.
The Salmon River Breaks is one of several allotments attached to the Greenfire property, and our suggestion was met enthusiastically by BPA. We drafted a proposal, which met with support from BPA and every other federal agency we contacted except the U.S. Forest Service. Even the BLM, who administers part of the allotment, was behind the proposal. We spent a good part of the next three months trying to convince the USFS of the merits of our proposal, but the issue was too politically charged for the agency to endorse.
Postscript to the story: They haven't seen the last of us yet.