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Grasslands, appreciated

They tell me that temperate grasslands are one of the most threatened habitat types left on Earth. Their rich soils – the product of millennia – make them particularly useful for our use. It’s no wonder less than four percent of them are protected worldwide.  

The unique grasslands of Southern Arizona are no exception, whittled down from their original expanse. But you can’t help but be drawn to them and their impressive array of grasses: the delicate Cottontop, the tall Sacaton or the distinctive Blue Grama. The grasses are complemented, balanced in a way by the lone oak or a striking agave.

The animals are no less charismatic, whether it’s a Mojave Rattlesnake that crosses in front of your truck, or the inquisitive bobcat caught on a BLM wildlife camera. These places are so vast, so open, and so alive that you expect to see something at every turn. 

So we steward and enjoy what remains, at the Muleshoe Ranch or Las Cienegas, and look forward to the day the grass turns green.

Story and photos by Adam Milnor, Gila District Public Affairs Specialist

RvB: Esse Quam Videri

“Okay,” Carolina said, tapping her foot on the metal floor in a poor show of patience. “What does that mean?”

Connie blinked at her. “Uh, I don’t actually know, Latin is kind of, you know. Outdated. Literally a dead language.”

Woming scoffed from across the room. “Outdated in your crappy and primitive education system, maybe,” he muttered, and the group of freelancers crowded around the new book “50 Facts About Each of the 50 States” all turned to stare, glare, and expertly roll their eyes.

“Can you translate it, then?” Carolina demanded, and Wyoming pulled on his budding mustache before unfolding from him chair and walking over to grab the book out of Connie’s slightly reluctant hands.

He glanced at the plain text, and then at a skeptical Connie, and an eager Carolina. “Ahem,” he said in lieu of a throat clearing cough while flipping through the nearby pages. “It means: to be, rather than to seem.”

Carolina leaned back in her chair. Connie almost looked shocked with her reluctant surprise. The others, New York (”Just go by York, we’re all friends here.”), Washington (”And he goes by Wash! Because we’re all friends here.”), the twins, Maine, Virginia, a couple of others he hadn’t really learned the names of yet, they all regarded him with various levels of begrudging respect.

“You can read Latin?” Connie said, genuine awe in her voice.

Wyoming grinned. “Nah, mate, the translation’s on the next page. See?”

Connie snatched her book back from his offered hands while the other Freelancers laughed, scowling and adding a half-hearted punch to Wyoming’s thigh as he walked away with his head held baitingly high. Even Carolina was trying to suppress a few giggles by covering her mouth with her palm and looking anywhere but at Connie’s face.

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