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  • There are many tales of Swatworth, self-named the Magnificent, a bobcat of high self esteem. In fact he is the subject of our children’s book “Swatworth, Josie and the Buffalo Girls” based on a true story in which he (nearly) met his match but managed by the skin of his whiskers to save face. In the
    following Swatworth actually gave something back, though unintentionally.

    Several splendid old cottonwood trees used to grace downtown Main Street in Driggs. A developer bought the land and despite diligent efforts to save them, they were cut down. In the endless battle between individual property rights and community values, the focus on property rights reigns supreme
    here in the west, and the trees lost. There were no ordinances in place for the townspeople to save them.

    The trees were so enormous they had to be dismembered limb by limb. As this was happening Jean
    passed by. Seeing their magnificence, he thought of Swatworth (and also the grizzlies but Swatworth
    doesn’t need to know that). Jean received the OK to take a stump for the Wildlife Garden and arranged to have the massive remnant delivered and “planted”. When all was ready Swatworth entered the Garden. Recognition was instantaneous. Here was a tree worthy of him. He moved to take possession.

    We have been watering the tree in hope that by some miracle it will live. We will let you know. But no
    matter what, it will have a second life. The wolves will race around it and mark it to their hearts content. The bears will try to push it over. Miss Clover the Badger will dig under its roots, the foxes will play tag, the cougars will elegantly drape themselves, and the coyotes will seek its shade from the summer sun. And stationed at its pinnacle, as high as he can get, Swatworth, self-named the
    Magnificent, will survey his domain.

    Click here to learn more about Earthfire Institute.
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