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Unformatted text preview: ly from Texas to eastern Colorado. Despite the anger and disbelief of
his neighbors, he refused to kill predators or to allow hunting on his land, permitting animals that other ranchers exterminated —
rattlesnakes, coyotes, badgers, ground squirrels, gophers, and prairie dogs — to flourish. He thought cattle benefited more from the challenges
of a natural ecosystem than from any human efforts to control the environment.
Tom Lasater is ninety years old now, and his memory is failing, but he still has the aura of a strong patriarch. As Dale bounces an old
cream-colored Suburban Custom Deluxe along one of the ranch’s dirt roads, his father sits in the back seat, wearing a cowboy hat, a bolo tie,
and thick black glasses, silently staring at the Beefmasters scattered across the prairie. He scrutinizes them, and every so often asks Dale about
a particular animal. The cattle roam a landscape that appears vast and unspoiled. The Lasater Ranch is a wildlife sanctuary. The native
grasses are thriving, tall cottonwoods grow along the stream banks, and herds of antelope graze alongside the cattle. Dale parks the t...
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- Spring '08