The County Attorney

  • Jim Catron

 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story: Catron County's politics heat up as its land goes bankrupt

Jim Catron is a fourth-generation New Mexican and a distant relative of Thomas Benton Catron, the land baron for whom Catron County is named. He lives in La Joya, N.M., and is county attorney for Catron, Socorro and Sierra counties. He has tracked the path of the Celtic people from Continental Europe to the mountains of Great Britain to the Southern United States and finally to New Mexico: "There is a culture in the American West," he says. "It lives and breathes and it is under assault in the name of environmental protection."

"The Gaels believe in local government; they've always believed in it. They've always elected their chieftains everywhere they lived. In battle, the Celt general was general because of prowess; the Roman general was general because of political power. He was old and pot-bellied; the Celt general was a hero!...

"Because they believed in local government, they resisted in Ireland and Scotland and Wales. They resisted the Saxons for 700 years or longer. Seven hundred years of warfare distorts a people; they became hard-working, hard-fighting, hard-drinking, hard-talking ...

"This is very, very much a cultural movement, this rural Western resistance to the federal empire. They very much view the central government the way their ancestors viewed the Englishmen. The Gaels shun their enemies; they still shun. To this day, when a forest ranger comes into one of these country cafes, everyone shuts up until he leaves. They don't speak Gaelic any more, but they're still clannish and their friends and family mean much more to them than property ...

"In the name of environmental conservation, we're attempting to destroy the last vestige of people who resist central government in the world. They resisted the Roman Empire, the British Empire and now they're attempting to buck the U.S.

"And we're winning. If those one-worlders and those federal imperialists really believe they've got us whipped, that the final resistance to centralized government is over, they're wrong. We don't use bullets and swords; now we use lawsuits and injunctions."

High Country News Classifieds
  • COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
    Introduction: Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with offices located in Kanab and Escalante, Utah. We are committed to the conservation...
  • CARETAKER
    2.0 acre homestead needing year-round caretaker in NE Oregon. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    For more information visit www. wyofile.com/careers/
  • THRIVING LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE FOR SALE
    Turn-key business opportunity. Successful well established business with room to grow. Excellent highway visibility.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    For more information, visit www.wyofile.com/careers/
  • SONORAN INSTITUTE, CEO
    Chief Executive Officer Tucson, Arizona ABOUT SONORAN INSTITUTE Since 1990, the Sonoran Institute has brought together diverse interests to successfully forge effective and enduring conservation...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a high-impact, nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 27-year legacy using...
  • PROJECT MANAGER
    Position Summary Join our Team at the New Mexico Land Conservancy! We're seeking a Project Manager who will work to protect land and water across...
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • WILDLIFE HAVEN
    Beautiful acreage with Teton Creek flowing through it. Springs and ponds, lots of trees, moose and deer. Property has barn. Easy access. approx. 33 acres.
  • ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Arizona Conservation Corps is seeking a Program Director in Flagstaff or Tucson
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...