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The Woolly West

By Andrew Gulliford

Winner, 2019 National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Western Heritage Award for the Best Nonfiction Book Winner, 2019 Colorado Book Awards History Category, sponsored by Colorado Center for the Book.

In The Woolly West, historian Andrew Gulliford describes the sheep industry’s place in the history of Colorado and the American West. In the competition for grazing lands, the sheep industry was as integral to the history of the American West as any trail drive.

With vivid, elegant, and reflective prose, Gulliford explores: the origins of sheep grazing in the region; the often-violent conflicts between the sheep and cattle industries; the creation of national forests; the segmenting of grazing allotments with the passage of the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934; the challenges of ecological change and the politics of immigrant labor; and the conflicts between hikers and dogs guarding flocks that have again put the sheep industry on the defensive.

Gulliford also weaves an account of his personal interaction with what he calls the “sheepscape”— that is, the sheepherders’ landscape itself. Visiting with Peruvian immigrant herders and Mormon families who have grazed sheep for generations, he explores stone cairns assembled by shepherds now long gone, and ponders the meaning of arborglyphs carved into unending aspen forests.

The Woolly West is the first book in decades devoted to the sheep industry and breaks new ground in the history of the Colorado Basque, Greek, and Hispano shepherding families whose ranching legacies continue to the present day.

Best Selling Books

Other Books by Dr. Andrew Gulliford

Sacred Objects

And Sacred Places

Andrew Gulliford traveled thousands of miles over a ten-year period to meet and interview tribal elders, visit sacred places, and discuss the power of sacred objects in order to present the essential debates surrounding tribal historic preservation. Without revealing the exact locations of sacred places (unless tribes have gone public with their cultural concerns.


The Last Stand of the Pack
Critical Edition
by Arthur H. Carhart
in collaboration with Stanley P. Young edited by Andrew Gulliford and Tom Wolf

Coloradans are deeply interested in wilderness and the debate surrounding wolf reintroduction, but for wolves to have a future in Colorado we must first understand the past.


Outdoors in the Southwest

True-life cautionary tales tell of encounters with early disastrous flash floods, 900-foot falls, and lightning strikes. The final chapter
describes the work of Great Old Broads for Wilderness, the Colorado Fourteeners
Initiative, and other exemplars of “wilderness tithing”—giving back to public lands.


America’s Country Schools

More than four hundred striking photographs — historical views, modern-day scenes, exteriors and interiors, help bring to life the people as well as the buildings.

Preserving Western History
Edited by Andrew Gulliford

Preserving Western History is the first
college reader to address public
history in the American West.
Andrew Gulliford’s collection of
essays explains the research and work
that public historians do and the
complicated issues of historic site
preservation and interpretation.


Boomtown Blues
Colorado Oil Shale

First published in 1989, Boomtown Blues examines the remarkable100-year history of oil shale development and chronicles the
social, environmental, and financial havoc created by theindustry’s continual cycles of boom and bust.