Chicken-Fried News: Climate cowboys 

click to enlarge INGVARD ASHBY
  • Ingvard Ashby

Much of Oklahoma’s history was made on horseback. From the sooners who arrived early into the territory to steal Native Americans’ land to the riders of the Chisholm Trail, it has been riders and their trusty companions who defined the state’s early history.

Even in the 21st century, riders on horseback have become the saving grace in the face of a new disaster, one that is only exacerbated by the effect of climate change.

As the floodwaters of the Arkansas River ravage northeast Oklahoma, cowboys on horseback have stepped up to help their fellow Oklahomans when all seems lost.

News 9 and national organizations like Fox News have highlighted the work of a group of cowboys that started with a group of four in a Facebook post and blossomed to dozens. The posse has helped save livestock in Coweta, Muskogee, Owasso, Catoosa, Claremore and Verdigris counties.

One of the group’s members told Fox News that they completed more than 15 rescue missions, including saving more then 350 cattle, seven horses, four donkeys and a cat.

The group’s work highlights the endearing nature of the human spirit, but lost animals cannot be replaced.

Most news stories about flooding in Oklahoma and the region use the phrase “unprecedented,” which is true, but how long until it becomes commonplace? It won’t be long before Oklahoma has a deputized horse force organized to help rescue victims of climate change.

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