Steve & Robin Boies
Owners, Hubbard-Vineyard Ranch
Robin and Steve Boies smile down at us with welcoming eyes and lean back casually against the propane tank in their yard, the word “LOVE” graffitied on the side in big white and blue lettering. We gather on the residential portion of their Hubbard-Vineyard Ranch, located just outside of Jackpot, Nevada. The ranch has been passed down through four generations and is equally a profession, passion and lifestyle for the couple. As we watch their countless dogs roam free under the gentle late-summer sun, the Boies admit their only complaint is the constant whoosh of passing cars on Highway 93, which runs parallel to their property.
Steve and Robin own 13,000 acres of private land, and the rest of their 130,000 ranching acres are under control of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). At the center of competing interests between state and federal bureaucracy, mining companies, environmental groups, and fellow ranchers, the Hubbard-Vineyard ranch reveals the great complexities that arise for the modern-day rancher in Northeastern Nevada.
The Boies are major proponents of combining ranching with conservation. They practice an Allan Savory-esque holistic management style which supports grassland regrowth and requires two years of pasture rest for every year of use.
As our conversation turns from crested wheatgrass re-emergence to the impact of the Paris Agreement withdrawal, it is clear that the Boies are well informed and deeply passionate about resolving the multipronged issues they face. While there are no obvious solutions, it is comforting to know there are people like the Boies willing and dedicated to push in the right direction.
By Amara Killen