Published: Sept. 1, 2017 By

eric gershon Two years ago I spent some time with Larry Strear (Art’69) on his Boulder County buffalo ranch for a story about ranchers' role in sustaining the American buffalo population.

I don’t think I’d ever seen a buffalo up close — close enough to feel her breath — let alone mingled among a herd of 40.

These were plainly powerful animals, commanding respect from mere humans. But they were also calm and unhurried. They munched grass, sauntered to the pond to drink and generally ignored us interlopers, which was fine with me.

I tried to imagine that time, many generations back, when tens of millions of bison roamed the West. What did a stampede sound like? Feel like? What was the scent of the churned earth after they’d passed?

CU Boulder graduates perhaps can imagine better than most.

Welcome to The Ralphie Issue.