My Backstory

Welcome to my blog: Dispatches from Out West.  I live in and write from Southern Idaho.teri-headshot2

Years ago I operated a consulting service for local governments, Shepherd’s Crook Enterprises. This was my blog then – if you poke far enough back, you’ll see some of my posts from that time. I wrote then not only to inform, but to preserve and improve the quality of life in communities by helping strengthen the economy, government representation, and stewardship and enjoyment of natural resources.

Shepherd’s Crook  was named after a piece of wood – a sheep rancher’s “helper” commonly called a shepherd’s crook –  that my father passed down to me when he sold the family ranch and retired. It was a fitting metaphor for a consultant who sought to be to clients as a shepherd’s crook is to a sheep rancher: a tool that makes a hard job easier. I guess it’s a fitting metaphor for me still.

The daughter of sheep ranchers, I value the traditions, culture, and work ethic that made America great. I have a deep love for the land and the people who care for them. So I write about those things whenever moved by my muse – sometimes frequently, other times not.

In a nutshell, I use this platform to tell about things I remember, but also to advocate for our vanishing Western heritage. My agenda is to help others see the need for a balance between the natural and human environments.

At my day job I work with Idaho’s 50 soil and water conservation districts, farmers, and ranchers to help steward  working lands and natural resources. I am intimately acquainted with diverse perspectives. I’ve been an elected county official working diligently for rural communities. I’ve written for Range, Adventure West, and Idaho Magazines, and I have published over 55 issues of our agency’s newsletter, Conservation the Idaho Way, profiling Idaho’s voluntary conservation success stories.

I can think of nothing else I’d rather do.

Teri Torell Murrison