“From right here, you can see parts of 4 states and some huge country,” says Marty Gill, who grew up on the Gill Ranch in Lucile.
It’s an awe-inspiring spot on this high divide between Hells Canyon and the Salmon River, north of Riggins, where generations of the Gill family have raised cattle for more than 100 years.
The Gill family has deep roots. They are the longest continuous white residents of Idaho County, going back to the 1870s. Here, in a place that feels like the top of the world, Marty Gill is standing on the pinnacle of Idaho’s livestock industry as the board president of the Idaho Cattle Association.
“It’s been a heck of a ride,” Gills says. “We had a record turnout at our mid-year meeting in Lewiston. We had a great trail ride with Governor Little. We had Vicki Christianson, the chief of the Forest Service on site in Owyhee County for 1.5 days, which is really cool. Idaho is getting a lot of input on a national level.”
“I think there are some things that are moving in the right direction for long-term resource management for everybody,” Gill continues. “The lock it up, and leave it alone, let it burn model of the last 20 years, I don’t think is a long-term sustainable deal.”