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portrait of the west©
Dan Selzer, Hesperus, Colorado

Text and Photo by Leesa Kiewel

Look into Dan Selzer’s eyes and you see the future of America’s West. The view is as bright as a Rocky Mountain sunrise. A throwback in some respects, Dan is a cowboy’s cowboy, at home in spurs handling a rope on the back of his big bay horse, Tipi. On the other hand, he epitomizes what the New West will be made of. With a college degree under his belt, he’s right where he wants to be, ranching in southwestern Colorado. A lover of cowboy tradition, he knows the livestock industry is on the verge of a new frontier and change is on the horizon. He’s ready to face the challenge.

“I know the day is soon coming when ranchers and environmentalist groups must sit at the same table working together on the issues. A great example is the coalition groups springing up everywhere. We simply can’t continue to war with one another when our nation’s food supply is at stake. One of the things that makes America strong is safe, abundant, affordable food and we can’t afford to compromise that as a nation.”

Selzer is a member of the new generation of American ranchers. “There’s a new generation of environmental activists coming, too; some of whom I went to college with. I don’t think we’re all that far apart on the issues, and we’re sure not carrying around the baggage fanatics like Jon Marvel would like to inflict us with. There’s a way, through communication and sound science, to find reasonable solutions to the issues we might not agree on. I’m determined to be a part of that.”

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last page update: 04.03.05