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John Stanley Tixier (Stan), 85, of Eden, Utah died peacefully on December 23, 2017.  Stan was born February 15, 1932, in Clayton, New Mexico, second son (after brother Ed) of Edward and Dorothy Tixier.  He attended the University of Arizona where he met Janice White, whom he married on June 28, 1958. They had three children John Stanley, Jr., Joseph Charles and Ann Clare. (Read Full Obituary Here)

Barry Iriving remembers Stan musing on his love for cowboy poetry by saying “The nice thing about being a cowboy poet is you don’t actually have to be good at either one”, delivered in jest and with a dry sense of humour of course. Here’s one of our favorite poems from Stan.

Rangeland Tug-O-War

What’s the best use of Rangeland?
I asked a lot of folks,
Or is it just a pile of sand,
A place for cowboy jokes?
Its uses add to many,
So, multiple‘s the term,
Perhaps there isn’t any
Best use that’s hard and firm.

The rancher says there’s no doubt
That Rangeland’s for the cow,
Why, any child can figure out
It’s not a place to plow,
But, it’s a home for cattle,
For sheep and horses too,
So stockmen will do battle
With those who’d ban the moo.

The sportsman knows it’s habitat
For wildlife, they can tell,
For deer and elk and more than that,
It’s small game space as well.
And where there’s lakes or rivers,
Biologists will wish
The Rangeland site delivers
A habitat for fish.

The forester hints Rangeland’s
As worthless as can be,
What good’s a place where use-plans
Don’t emphasize the tree?
It may make posts and fuelwood,
But after that he’ll pass,
Such country doesn’t look good—
There’s no board-feet in grass.

Now if you ask the miner,
He’ll tell you it’s the place.
Can there be something finer,
And use a smaller space,
Than mineral extraction?
No other use, I’m told,
Would yield even a fraction
Of what they get for gold.

The ones who drill for oil and gas,
And those that dig for coal,
Will say that Rangelands, first and last,
Could have no higher goal
Than energy production.
You get it from the ground,
There should be no reduction
Of leases all around.

The campers and the hikers
Agree that Rangeland’s great,
Also the motor bikers
Think trails should have no gate,
‘Cause recreation’s foremost,
There must be room to roam,
It’s more than just an outpost,
A fun-time, outdoor home.

Just ask the preservationist,
You shouldn’t have to guess,
It’s open-space that meets the test—
It should be Wilderness.
Outlaw commercial uses
Of Rangelands, yes we should,
Abolish Range abuses,
Let’s lock ’em up for good.

There’s animals and plants galore
Whose future’s insecure.
There’s birds and fish and many more
That may not long endure.
“Endangered Species” mention
That Rangeland plays a role.
With management attention,
Recovery is the goal.

The wild horse lovers reckon
There’s one endangered breed,
So Rangelands all should beckon
The noble feral steed.
Don’t chase ’em, trap ’em, fell ’em,
‘Cause freedom is their thing.
Adopt `em, never sell `em,
Despite the cash they’d bring.

Next comes the irrigator,
And hydro-engineer.
They’ll tell you now and later
That Rangeland has no peer,
As watershed, the cover
Of vegetation, grass,
Will out-perform each other
Identified land mass.

Now Rangeland isn’t all the same,
It has unique places.
There’s wetter zones that have a name
That conjures special graces.
Let’s recognize the meadow,
Conserve it all we can.
It’s valuable we all know,
It’s called “Riparian.”

Research is vital to the cause,
Investigations show.
Despite environmental laws,
There’s lots more we don’t know.
The scientist’s solution
Suggests that time be spent
Avoiding Range-pollution—
Apply Range Management.

But how can all those users
Of Rangeland have their way?
Some likely will be losers,
Some may not even play.
All uses are important there,
But how it’s used is key,
So users need to learn to share

But when we total up the score,
And users don’t agree
That Rangeland should be used for more
Than their priority,
We wonder if they realize,
Or do they really care?
We don’t have to prioritize—
It’s better if we share.

For Rangeland has resources,
And capability.
If users would join forces,
Perhaps at last they’d see,
When fussing finally takes its toll,
Cooperation starts,
Rangeland’s a place wherein the whole
Is greater than its parts.

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