Sustaining America - Interviews with Americans in the Heartland

  1. This interview was one of the most heart-wrenching I've ever done. It was conducted in 2005 with 12 year old Cody Parker on Bobby Parker's front porch in the Mojave Preserve. Bobby had been trenching a new water line with his water directly adjacent to his cabin when Ranger Dingman, with the National Park Service arrived with another ranger. Dingman demanded that Bobby stop trenching and pulled his gun out. Bobby's adopted dad, Leo Spatziani, saw what was happening and went to his pickup truck, pulled out his rifle, held it up in the air and told the rangers to leave. A few days later, Leo was arrested for assaulting a federal officer and ultimately convicted. The then 66 year old spent six months in prison. This is an excerpt from one of the interviews, the interview sound bite is unedited, so you hear my voice in the background.

    # vimeo.com/152836895 Uploaded
  2. Cindy and Tommy Mullens spent 12 years building their dream home on the New River in Hinton, West Virginia, only to be forced off when the National Park Service began seizing property along what was going to be a scenic byway.

    After dozens of landowners relinquished their homes, most of ,the properties lay in disrepair for years, fenced in, falling down and blighted. Some of the land that was seized was sold to a lumber company by the Park Service, and private homes with new owners were rebuilt.

    This is a short excerpt from a longer interview with Cindy Mullens. To see the longer version of her unedited interview (questions were taken out to avoid distraction, but the interview is presented as it occurred in 2005).

    For more information, go to sustainingamerica.com

    # vimeo.com/152115741 Uploaded
  3. In 2003, Joe Delk was appointed by the New Mexico Governor to serve on the Livestock Board. In his capacity as a board member, he witness first-hand what transpired between Kit Laney and the Forest Service. In this interview, taped in 2005, he answers some of our questions about what happened.

    # vimeo.com/148195677 Uploaded
  4. This is an excerpt from an interview with Kit Laney in 2005. Kit told me about his struggles with the ranch and an incident that changed his life forever. The Forest Service was seizing his cattle in the middle of the night and Kit rode up to let them out of the pen. Although he denies it, he was convicted of assaulting a Forest Service worker by striking him with the reins of his horse. Kit served six months in a maximum security prison in Texas. Shortly after this was shot, Kit moved to Argentina to try to run cows there. He and Sherrye eventually lost their ranch and were subsequently divorced. The Diamond Bar is now a tourist resort for people who want to hunt, fish and experience the heritage of the Old West. The 100-yr old historical home where the Laney's lived has been torn down. Last we spoke to her several years ago, Sherrye was making living guiding hunters. We haven't spoken to Kit in several years, but hope he is doing well and still running cows.

    Wayne Hage, Sr., who is referenced in this interview passed away shortly after I interviewed him in 2005. His son, Wayne Hage, Jr., is still battling the U.S. courts in an effort to preserve their family ranch.

    # vimeo.com/147866713 Uploaded
  5. What happens to water when a ranching operation is shut down? You didn't expect this!
    Ramona Morrison is Wayne Hage Sr's daughter. She was raised on the family ranch in Monitor Valley, Nevada. This is a brief excerpt from the raw, unedited interview footage that was shot for a documentary about the Heartland of America. The working title is, "Cowboy Country."

    # vimeo.com/147816540 Uploaded

Sustaining America - Interviews with Americans in the Heartland

Cirina Catania PRO

Over the course of the last ten years, I've been interviewing ranchers and farmers in the hopes of understanding why those industries are having such hard times in our country. The project started out being a documentary about cowboy poetry, but quickly…


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Over the course of the last ten years, I've been interviewing ranchers and farmers in the hopes of understanding why those industries are having such hard times in our country. The project started out being a documentary about cowboy poetry, but quickly changed, evolving into a series of in-depth interviews with those who live on American land (some public and most deeded). These are the people who produce the food we eat. Some day, I might be able to figure out how to do a "Hollywood" style documentary about this, but for the time being I've decided to post the full interviews. These are the voices from the American Heartland and they speak for themselves. These interviews are unedited (except to take my voice out in most occasions). They are raw. They are informative. And they are ... well .... you decide.

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