Dr. Andrew Gulliford, Professor of History & Environmental Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO, joins us to talk about his book, The Woolly West: Colorado's Hidden History of Sheepscapes.
In The Woolly West, Gulliford describes the sheep industry’s place in the history of Colorado and the American West. In the competition for grazing lands, the sheep industry was as integral to the history of the American West as any trail drive.
With vivid, elegant, and reflective prose, Gulliford explores the origins of sheep grazing in the region; the often-violent conflicts between the sheep and cattle industries; the creation of national forests; the segmenting of grazing allotments with the passage of the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934; the challenges of ecological change and the politics of immigrant labor; and the conflicts between hikers and dogs guarding flocks that have again put the sheep industry on the defensive.
Gulliford also weaves an account of his personal interaction with what he calls the “sheepscape”— that is, the sheepherders’ landscape itself. Visiting with Peruvian immigrant herders and Mormon families who have grazed sheep for generations, he explores stone cairns assembled by shepherds now long gone, and ponders the meaning of arborglyphs carved into unending aspen forests.
The Woolly West is the first book in decades devoted to the sheep industry. It breaks new ground in the history of the Colorado Basque, Greek, and Hispano shepherding families whose ranching legacies continue to the present day.
Dr. Gulliford's book, The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes, published by Texas A&M University Press, was chosen the Outstanding Nonfiction winner for the 2019 Wrangler Western Heritage Awards sponsored by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. It also won the Colorado Book Award for history. His latest book is Bears Ears: Landscape of Refuge and Resistance from the University of Utah Press.
Andrew Gulliford is a history and environmental studies professor at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He has been awarded the Roger Peters Distinguished Faculty Award for teaching, research, and service. Gulliford teaches popular courses on wilderness, national parks, Western history, and environmental history. He is the author of America’s Country Schools, Sacred Objects and Sacred Places: Preserving Tribal Traditions, and Boomtown Blues: Colorado Oil Shale, which won the Colorado Book Award. He edited Preserving Western History, which was voted one of the best books on the Southwest by the Tucson-Pima County Library. His book Outdoors in the Southwest: An Adventure Anthology won the Arizona/New Mexico Book Award in the category of nature/ environment and Best Book on Arizona, as well as the Colorado Book Award for best anthology. Gulliford edited The Last Stand of the Pack: A Critical Edition, about wolves in Colorado, published by the University Press of Colorado.
His book The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes, published by Texas A&M University Press, was chosen the Outstanding Nonfiction winner for the 2019 Wrangler Western Heritage Awards sponsored by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. It also won the Colorado Book Award for history. His latest book is Bears Ears: Landscape of Refuge and Resistance from
Gulliford has led tours across the West by canoe, raft, horseback, van, cruise ship, bus/coach, private train, and private jet for the Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic Society, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Great Old Broads for Wilderness, History Colorado, Canyon Country Discovery Center, and the San Juan Mountains Association.
Dr. Gulliford has received the National Individual Volunteer Award from the U.S. Forest Service for wilderness education, and a certificate of recognition from the Secretary of Agriculture for “outstanding contributions to America’s natural and cultural resources.” For a decade he held a federal appointment to the Southwest Colorado Resources Advisory Council of the Bureau of Land Management.
Gulliford writes columns about the Southwest for the Durango Herald, the Cortez Journal, and the San Juan Record (Monticello, Utah) and he appears in history programs for “The Colorado Experience” television series produced by Rocky Mountain PBS.