June 20, 2006
Mary Wolford records the numbers while her husband, Bruce, counts cattle going through the gate at the Bridger-Teton National Forest boundary fence into the Upper Green, north of Pinedale.
This is a part of the Green River Drift, where cattlemen from the Upper Green River Cattle Association bring their herds up along the Green River to grazing allotments on National Forest land.
The Green River Drift cattle are "counted onto" the forest, which creates a record for the Forest Service and the Cattle Association, ensuring that the correct number of cattle for each Permittee enters the forest allotment. The numbers help cattlemen calculate losses accurately at the end of the season.
The Green River Drift corridor has been used for nearly a century, making it a historic trail still being used today for its original purpose as was when it started in the early 1900s.
For those who want to see "The Drift", you need to get up early. Most of the activity happens between 5 am to 10 am every day for about two weeks in the spring. After lunch, most of the cattlemen go home to irrigate or to a regular job in town.
Photo courtesy Monte Skinner.