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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Hayden in Routt County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Range Lands

 
 
Range Lands Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 18, 2013
1. Range Lands Marker
Inscription.
Taylor Grazing Act
It belonged to everyone—and to no one. It was called free land, and both sheepmen and cattle ranchers wanted a piece of it. In this high, dry plateau country where water and grass are scant, cutthroat competition for free range led to disastrous land practices. Using their herds as evidence of range ownership, ranchers allowed their animals to graze uncontrolled on public grasslands. Overgrazing brought erosion and the destruction of open pastures. Finally, in 1934 Congress stepped in with the Taylor Grazing Act. Named for Colorado's great Western Slope congressman. Edward T. Taylor, the act created grazing districts regulated by the federal government. Thus ended the ruinous competition among stockmen and the likely destruction of some 170,000,000 acres of public domain.

Farrington R. Carpenter,
Maverick Rancher
(1886-1980)

In 1934 President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Farrington R. Carpenter the first director of the Division of Grazing, a federal agency created by the Taylor Grazing Act. True to his maverick ways, Carpenter bluntly stated the act's driving purpose. He said it was "for the proper use of lands. Not for the people, not for the livestock, but for the lands." Educated at Princeton and Harvard Law School, Carpenter established
Marker detail: Cattle on the Range image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Department
2. Marker detail: Cattle on the Range
a ranch about ten miles east of here in 1926. As district attorney for Routt, Moffat, and Grand counties—an area larger than Massachusetts—he prosecuted cattle rustlers and kidnappers, and when armed sheepmen lined up against cattlemen, he negotiated a cease-fire. But ranching always came first. Today, the Nature Conservancy's Carpenter Ranch stands as a living testament to this maverick rancher's love of land, cattle, and the American West.
 
Erected 1997 by Colorado Historical Society, Colorado Department of Transportation, and Federal Highway Administration.
 
Location. 40° 30.416′ N, 107° 22.797′ W. Marker is near Hayden, Colorado, in Routt County. Marker is on U.S. 40 at milepost 100.5, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is one of two presented in a large "Colorado" kiosk, located in a pull-out on the south side of the highway. Marker is in this post office area: Hayden CO 81639, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. The Hayden Surveys (here, next to this marker).
 
Also see . . .
1. Taylor Grazing Act of 1934.
Public agency management of the federal grazing lands began with the passage of the Taylor Grazing Act on June 28, 1934, as dust from the worst storms in the nation's history settled
Marker detail: Farrington R. Carpenter image. Click for full size.
Courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Department
3. Marker detail: Farrington R. Carpenter
on Washington DC. Enacted after decades of rangeland deterioration, conflicts between cattle ranchers and migratory sheepherders, jurisdictional disputes, and states' rights debates, the act and its amendments ended free access to the range. The new law effectively closed the rangelands to homesteading in the Dakotas and western states. (Submitted on April 30, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Historical Interview with Farrington R. Carpenter.
"When I filed on my homestead in 1907, there was no chance for me to make a living there and I persuaded another boy from Evanston, Illinois, where I had been born, to come out and file on another homestead about 3 miles away, and together by arranging the 40's that we took up our homesteads. We managed to enclose quite a little public land where we could run some cattle. In those days everybody was trying to get more public land to run their stock on and keep somebody else off of it; and we managed to do this and we bought some cattle in 1909." (Submitted on April 30, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. AgricultureEnvironmentSettlements & Settlers
 
The Hayden Rest Area Marker Kiosk (<i>wide view; showing adjacent marker on right</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 18, 2013
4. The Hayden Rest Area Marker Kiosk (wide view; showing adjacent marker on right)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 3, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 29, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 30, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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