New Mexico, many of whom migratedrnfrom the Lower South to Texas after thernfederal troops and carpetbaggers expropriatedrntliem, and later from Texas intornNew Mexico Territory where they set uprnin the cattle-ranching business. Theyrnwere largely of Celtic stock, and some ofrnthem, like Jim’s ancestors, had an admixturernof Cherokee and Choctaw blood;rnas ex-Confederates, they compoundedrnCeltic rambunctiousness and dislike ofrnauthority with a hatred for the federalrngovernment in all its works and manifestations.rnI’his hatred, passed down fromrnone generation to the next, had not diedrnout in their great-grandchildren whenrnthe go’ernment in W4ishington passed arnNational Environmental Protection Actrnand sent interlopers to regulate the economy,rnas well as the environment, of Nev’rnMexico. Catron County, larger in arearnthan the state of New Jersey and comprisedrnalmost entirely of federal and staternlands, has a population of around 2,100rnpeople, most of whom are—or were—rncattlemen, timber cutters, and lumbermerr,rnrunning their animals and cuttingrntheir trees mosdy on the national forests.rnAs the regulators proceeded with theirrnwork, harassing ranchers and forcing thernlumber companies into retirement, therncitizens of Catron County, growing restless,rnencouraged their elected officials tornthe more intensive exercise of their nativerningenuity. The strategy these menrndeveloped was simple as well as legal,rnand even patriotic. NFPA plainly statesrnthat federal agencies must consult withrnthe governments of affected localitiesrnconcerning the effects of their activitiesrnon local cultures and eiLStoms. Becausernthe Forest and the Fish and Wildlife Servicesrnwere just as plainly not engaging inrnsuch consultation, their negligencernappeared to present an opening for arnlegal thrust to the soft underbelly ofrnLeviathan. To date Jim Catron hasrnhelped to obtain several judgnrents fronrrnfederal courts in the West supporting hisrnargument, while relations between federalrnpersonnel and environmentalists onrnone side of the debate, and almost everyonernelse on the other, have been ratchetedrnto so great a level of hostility thatrnthe commission passed an ordinance requiringrnheads of households to ownrnfirearms in order to “protect citizens’rnrights,” and predicted that “much physicalrnviolence” would ensue if the federalsrnpersisted with their “arrogant” plan forrngrazing reform. Ijong before the bombingrnof the federal building in OklahomarnCity, Catron County had become a synrbolrnof the Revolt of the Redneck, andrndisapproving media persons were eonvergingrnon Reserve from more enlightenedrnregions of the country; thesernincluded, recently, a dude reporter fromrnthe San Francisco office of the WallrnStreet journal whose chief preoccupationrnseemed to be keeping his contact lensesrnin place. The day 1 sat in on a commissioners’rnmeeting with Jim the trees werernin bud around the county buildingrnand an clderlv couple from Californiarnstopped in to watch history being made.rnNothing more incendiary than therncondition of the county landfill wasrndiscussed, but they seemed gratifiedrnnevertheless.rnNear Bayard I stopped at a roadsiderntavern and received painstakingly detailedrninstructions on to Caballo from arndrunken cowboy in a black hat at the bar.rnThe highway crossed the lovely MimbresrnValley below the Santa Rita CopperrnMine that has been in operation sincernthe 1720’s and ascended the west slopernof the Black Range by switchbacks tornGallinas Canyon and Emory Pass (clcv.rn8,228), from where the Caballo Mountainsrnwere scarcely visible through therndust blowing across the Rio Granderntrench. The steep forest floor was devoidrnof understorey, even of grass, but greeningrncottonwoods shaded the canyonrnabove a clear running stream. Fhe longrndescent began among precipitous cliffsrnand pine trees, passed through drawsrnwhere cattle grazed beneath riparian cottonwoods,rnand ended in the widerncreosote plain sweeping down to the bigrnriver and hiterstate 2 5 beside it. hi spiternof fierce winds quartering from thernnorthwest, I reached Bclen in time torncatch the national news broadcast and arnvodka martini with Jim Rauen. The O.J.rnSimpson trial and the war in Bosnia werernstill the top stories, and we agreed that itrnwas as if we hadn’t missed a beat since Irnleft at the end of February.rnI’he heat was terrific in Juarez tworndays later. At Figaro’s across the Avenidarnde 16 Septiembre from the Plaza Monumentalrnwe were greeted by Scnor I lurtado,rnthe ring owner, as we ate fajitas andrndrank white wine. All six bulls, from thernDona Celia Barbabosa Ranch, werernmagnificent animals, nearly identical inrnbuild and in their dark brindled colorrnand weighing between 450 and 484 kilos.rnEach of the three matadores had onernbad fight, and one superb one: JorgernGutierrez cut one car, Mario del Olmorntwo, and I’ederieo Pizarro, like del Olniorna young man not vet in his 2()’s, receivedrnan indulta from the President. “No, no,rnPizarro—no, no!” the crowd roared as hernprepared to kill, and Pizarro with an expectant,rnalmost pleading expressionrnlooked up to the box lettered AUTORIDAD.rnThe President appeared reluctant,rnseeming to want the bull Visitanterndead, but at last he relented and thernspectators, who had just finished admonishingrna banderillero who had failedrnto place a single banderilla with shouts ofrn”Pero! Pero! Pero!” went wild with enthusiasmrnas Pizarro was lifted on the shouldersrnof his cronies and paraded aroundrnthe ring. lie neatly folded and slippedrninto an inner vest pocket a pair of pantiesrnflung to him by an admirer, but tossedrnback the inflated plastic ones thrown byrna lout in one of the cheaper seats. WhenrnJim and 1 arrived in Bclen the next dayrndrifts of hailstones from a passing thundershowerrnlay among the grama grass,rnand at dusk we searched with flashlightsrnfor the large desert toads that draw tornthe pond. When rubbed across the bellyrnthey excrete a strong stream of urine,rnand go limp in your hand with pleasure.rnI drove over to Contreras the nextrnmorning and found Jim Catron and hisrnsons pouring concrete. The cordlessrnphone hanging on the fence was silentrnuntil about noon, after which it rang incessantly.rnOne of the callers was StevernUdall—”one of the good Udalls”—whornwas going to confront the feds at a hearingrnin Phoenix, but the rest were womenrnreporters from polite Eastern newspapers.rnOne of them, who seemed to thinkrnthat she was conversing with a Westernrnbadman, complained that Jinr “intimidated”rnher. More or less patiently, hernwalked them through his little speech. “Irnwas talking to the editor of the AlbuquerquernTrib one time,” he said betweenrncalls. “Blonde, stringy hair; thin. Shernkept using the word ‘redneck.’ Finally Irnsaid to her, ‘By “redneck” you meanrnsomeone who is rural, ignorant, violent,rnand white, is that correct?’ ‘That’s correct.’rnWell, there is a word for peoplernwho are urban, ignorant, violent, andrnblack. Do you use that word?’ ‘Of coursernnot!'”rnIhe phone rang again and Jim spokerninto it for some time, pacing as he did sornaround the smoothed concrete. “Itrnwon’t be very long before New Mexico isrnno longer a Western state,” he said whenrnhe got off. “I don’t like it.”rn”I hate it,” I told him. crn50/CHRONICLESrnrnrn