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Struggles of ranching in Routt County

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Calves lie with mom in a pasture on Matt Belton’s ranch. Photo by John F. Russell

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Nerio Quispe carries a calf across a coral at Matt Belton’s ranch on Routt County Road 129 in North Routt County. Quispe was carrying the calf, which had to be kept warm in the main ranch house overnight, to its mother, who was restrained in a nearby stall. Quispe then attempted to get the calf and mom to start nursing, which is common after mom and calf have to be separated. Photo by John F. Russell

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A calf gets to its feet on Mary Murphy’s ranch west of Hayden. Photo by John F. Russell

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Mom takes a protective stance in a pasture on Murphy’s ranch. Photo by John F. Russell

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Matt Belton loads his dog Boone into an all-terrain vehicle before going out to check on calves on his ranch in North Routt County. Photo by John F. Russell

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Rancher Mary Murphy sits on a four-wheeler on her ranch west of Hayden. Photo by John F. Russell

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Mary Murphy checks on a calf on her ranch west of Hayden. “I can look at any of these cows and tell you what their grandmothers did,” Murphy said. Photo by John F. Russell

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Rancher Doug Carlson uses an implement called a Haybuster to pick up a round bale of hay while feeding cattle along the Elk River near Clark in March. Photo by Tom Ross

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Rancher Doug Carlson uses an implement called a Haybuster to spread hay for his cattle along the Elk River near Clark. Sand Mountain is in the background. Photo by Tom Ross

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A calf is exposed to early spring conditions on Matt Belton’s ranch north of Steamboat Springs. Photo by John F. Russell

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Rancher Mary Murphy at her ranch west of Hayden. Photo by John F. Russell

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Rancher Mary Murphy sits on a four-wheeler on her ranch west of Hayden. Murphy is plenty tough enough to tackle the rugged chores that must be done on a ranch but also shows a maternal touch while checking on the newborns. Photo by John F. Russell

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