Outdoor Online recently published an article about the Peruvian immigrants who work as shepherds on the last large-scale sheep-herding operation on Washington state’s public forestland. It’s likely that the wool in your outdoor gear came from these 4,000 sheep, owned by the family ranch S. Martinez Livestock, near Mabton, Wash. The wool goes to companies such as Farm to Feet, Pendleton, and Woolrich to be turned into American-made performance clothing. Check out the outstanding photography.
The Martinez family immigrated to American from Spain in 1920, starting as sheepherders and becoming ranch owners. Today the operation has diversified into fruit, cattle and grain as well as continuing the sheep operation. They have a lot of issues to resolve due to grazing on public lands! They’ve been successful by staying in touch with the Federal government and private landowners to avoid impacting bighorn sheep, being impacted by protected wolves and avoiding wildfire areas.