Idaho Fish and Game Enforcement Officers’ “Creed”
“CONSERVATION ENFORCEMENT CREED
The Commission has established as policy that, relative to the enforcement of fish and game laws, rules, and proclamations, the official philosophy, guideline and creed of Department personnel shall always be:
• To assist the public in their compliance with regulations;
• To save unfortunate offenders from unnecessary humiliation, inconvenience and distress;
• To have no compromise for crime and to resolutely seek the violator, but with judgment charitable toward the minor
• Never to cite if a warning would be better;
• Never to scold or reprimand, but rather to respect and inform.
Please establish this policy firmly in your mind and use it as a guide in your enforcement activities.”
and neither do I, though I lived within an hour of it for twenty years. The best and truest writing about the border and the people who inhabit it, cross it, or are obsessed with it is by Charles Bowden. The border is its own animal with its own peculiar behaviors, and Mr. Bowden is about half border animal himself, well and intimately acquainted with his subject. You won’t read anything as real and informed as his take on it.
There are a lot of cultural conservatives in love with the West, the American West, and in particular they love the cowboy and the rugged individualism that the cowboy symbolizes. They fret that the Latino hordes will dilute or otherwise besmirch our fine, clean western spirit. Never mind that the first meeting and melding of Latin and Anglo cultures in the southwest is what produced cowboys and the cowboy culture that conservatives so cherish.
The first Euro-Americans to work cattle were fresh Irish, German and Slavic immigrants who learned from and emulated the Mexican vaqueros and the Black cowboys who had quit the cattle plantations of Florida and the Carolinas after Emancipation. Listen to cowboy words — lasso, lariat, pinto, ranch, mustang, bronco, palomino, rodeo, loco, burro, latigo, remuda — cowboys, it would seem, spoke Spanish. And rugged individualism has more than a passing resemblance to machismo…
Like nobody else, I have my reasons for wanting to scribble my thoughts where just anybody can observe them. Everybody else has their reasons too, I suppose. But reason can be fatuous or profound, or actually one while seeming the other, and I am not going to tip you off as to which extreme I am anchored to by explaining my motivations here and now. Because anyway, I really don’t know for sure.