The 32nd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering takes its stewardship responsibilities seriously with special topic discussions, films, videos and panels that tackle important issues current in the rural West. Following is the list for the 32nd Gathering, January 25-30, 2016.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Story Table icon  Veterans Writers Project
Veterans Resource Center
Great Basin College, McMullen Hall Room 114
1500 College Parkway (Center Building, facing College Parkway)
Special Session for Veterans - Free
(Drop in any time, stay as long as you like)
Great crisis often produces great writing. War is no exception. And, while historians and politicians write the history, a soldier's version is often found in poems, songs and stories. These stories need to be told. The Veterans Writers Project will provide a place to tell and refine these stories with the help of other  veterans and writers, including Bill Jones and Vess Quinlan. The purpose of the Project is to enable, encourage and support veterans as they share the experiences with others. If you're interested in participating, please contact Vess Quinlan at (719) 588-0911 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or just drop in.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Open Mic icon Teen Poetry & Music Slam
G Three Bar Theater
Come listen and show your support for the next generation of poets and performers as they share their work in this open-mic session.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Welcome icon Keynote Address with Dan Flores
Elko Convention Center Auditorium
Free with 3-Day Deluxe or Day Pass
Historian and natural ecologist of the Plains, Dan Flores, brings a deep perspective to the environment and culture of the American West, and he provides a long-range view on the region's changing ecologies. His take on the historical meeting of environment and people provides a unique vantage point from which to understand the Northern Plains. Funded in part by Nevada Humanities and presented in partnership with Great Basin College.
  Indian Cowboys of the Dakotas
Elko Conference Center, Lamoille Room
For over 30 years, Phil Baird has researched, published and offered presentations about rodeo history. In this illustrated presentation, he will share some of the stories he has collected about Native American cowboys of the Dakotas. An enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota), Baird has been active throughout his life in promoting rodeo and western heritage. He is the interim executive director and past president of the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, and award-winnng western heritage interpretive center located in Medora.
  History of Western Swing with Hot Club of Cowtown
Elko Convention Center Auditorium
Join Hot Club of Cowtown for a special session showcasing the cultural and historical perspective of one of the band's favorite topics - Western Swing - a genre that emerged in the 1930s and 40s that drew on the happening music of its time, including big band jazz, ragtime, blues, Mexican music and gospel. Hosted by Charlie Seemann.

Friday, January 29, 2016

  Experiments in Land Stewardship
Elko Conference Center, Lamoille Room
Can ranchers partner with beaver to restore riaprian areas? Is it possible for cattle to coexist with wolves while minimizing predation? Will returning buffalo to tribal lands re-establish hope for Indian peoples? Revisiting the ways of the past can sometimes lead to breakthroughs for the future. Join Hilary Anderson, Jay Tanner and others as they tell personal stories of experimentation they have undertaken as they seek solutions toward supporting thriving, healthy western lands and ranching communities.
Tipping Our Hats to the Northern Plains
Elko Convention Center, Turquoise Room
For our annual humanities talk, folklorist Nicholas Vrooman draws on his extensive fieldwork, research and life experiences to characterize the Northern Plains in its many manifestations, aiming for the big picture of the region and revealing the natural tension between the individual and the collective, the mythic and the everyday, the epic and the ordinary. Vrooman is the executive director of Northern Plains Folklife Resources. Funded in part by Nevada Humanities and presented in partnership with Great Basin College.
Story Table icon Circling Back Around
Elko Conference Center, Lamoille Room
Native American and non-Native cowboys Phil Baird, Henry Real Bird and Luke Reed share stories honoring their mentors, what they've learned from their elders along the way, and what they would, in turn, like to pass on: from ranching knowledge to community stories to unexpected heroes, the wisdom and understanding passed on to these speakers spurs a conversation about learning, inspiration and the future. Facilitated by Gail Steiger.
Ranching with Predators, with Hilary Anderson
Elko Conference Center, Lamoille Room
Montana rancher and wildlife biologist Hilary Anderson looks at differenct forms of ranch and livestock management as strategies for making livestock less vulnerable to predation while also benefiting the ranch in many other ways, experimenting with such tools as: range riders, herding and low-stress stockmanship, temporary electric fences, fladry, carcass removal, remote field cameras, and more, while working closely with neighbors, state and federal agencies, and NGO funders throughout multiple ranching communities to help accomplish their goals.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

  Nurturing Great Riparian Plains: Cows, Creeks and Collaboration
Elko Conference Center, Lamoille Room
Riparian areas are some of the most productive landscapes in our ranges. Managing them is an ongoing process of doing more good than bad, which means first learning to tell the difference. This panel will both educate and entertain. Leading off the discussion is the Nevada Creeks and Communities cadre (John McCann - USFS hydrologist based in Reno NV; Carol Evans - BLM fisheries biologist based in Elko NV; Robin Wignall - USFS hydrologist based in Elko NV), a team of land managers with years of experience managing and assessing riparian areas. Nevada and Utah ranches will be represented by Jon Griggs - Maggie Dreek Ranch, Elko NV; Jay Tanner - Della Ranches, Grouse Creek UT; and James Rogers - Winecup and Gamble Ranches, north of Wells, NV. Presented in collaboration with the Northeastern Nevada Stewardship Group, with special thanks to the Timken-Sturgis Foundation.
  Let's Talk About Beaver, Bison and Wolves
Elko Conference Center, Lamoille Room
An opportunity for questions and conversation with special guest speakers, including Hilary Anderson, Jay Tanner and those participating in the Nurturing Great Riparian Plains discussion. Facilitated by Dan Flores.
Story Table icon Patchwork of the Prairie
G Three Bar Theater, Western Folklife Center
Master quilter and poet Yvonne Hollenbeck pays tribute to her beloved Northern Plains through an amazing collection of handmade family quilts, spanning 140 years, including her own prize-winning creations. Poetry about quilts and quilters is woven into this story-filled trunk show, which will entertain men and women alike.


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