Stewardship Profile Series

The stories told by the people of the Chama Peak Land Alliance are a testament to the land stewardship ethic of the landowners in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. To celebrate these stories and share this legacy, the Chama Peak Land Alliance initiated a Stewardship Profile Series in 2016. Enjoy these stories and please share them with those that you think might be interested!

Image“It was the way I was made, it’s always been there and it will die when I die,” says Betty Shahan of how she developed her love of the land. Betty grew up in Archuleta County, the daughter of a saw miller. Her mother’s side of the family raised cattle and as early as she can remember, she has felt a connection with animals. As a child, she always ran, and never walked, which would explain her desire to be involved with anything outdoors. As she got older, she fixed hair and gave permanents in the sawmill tents, so she always thought she would eventually become a beautician. After 8th grade, the small country school she attended was closed, so her mother sent her to Pagosa High School, despite her disinterest in attending a much larger school. It was there she met her to-be husband, Bob Shahan. They dated through high school and were married as soon as they could on June 2nd, immediately after graduating. Bob told Betty they were going to be ranchers...Read Betty's full Stewardship Profile here.
ImageLike it was yesterday, Doc vividly remembers the summers he spent at his granddad and grandmother’s farm back in Indiana. That was almost 80 years ago. “There was no electricity, no running water, and my grandmother cooked on an iron stove with corncobs, except for on special occasions when she would get to cook with coal,” Doc explains. At 6 years old, his first job was to run a pony and cart with jugs of drinking water out to the workers in the fields. Back then, fields were plowed and hay was cut, but they didn’t have any mechanized farm equipment like one sees today. Plowing and hay cutting machinery was all horse driven. “We stored the cow’s milk in large cans and used a storeroom near the spring to refrigerate it until Robert’s Dairy would come pick it up.” In those days, a “Huckster” would come door to door in an early Model T truck and he would trade his grandmother flour and sugar for her chickens’ eggs. Doc never recalls her going into town because she made everything she needed, including her own churned butter. “She pumped her own water by hand from a well and used to wash me in a tub on the back porch. She was truly a wonderful lady.” Read Doc's full Stewardship Profile here.