Steve Tellam, 54, is a fourth-generation cowboy working in a region where being a cowboy no longer makes sense.

A century ago, San Diego County was a cattleman's paradise -- endless open range, plentiful water, tall grass and convenient transport to slaughterhouses and growing cities.

Today, the range has been subdivided and developed, the water sucked away by cities, the grass thinned by years of drought. With the beef industry consolidated far from Southern California, raising cattle in these mountains is as viable a business as selling surfboards in Nebraska.


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