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    Jane Golliher

    By Britney Magleby
    Jane Golliher herds cattle at Diamond Cross Ranch in Jackson Hole Jane Golliher herds cattle at Diamond Cross Ranch in Jackson Hole

    A Wild Woman of Wyoming

    I often wonder if we could see the soul of Jackson, what would it look like?

    Perhaps it's different for each of us - a mountain goat for the climber, a bird for the skier, an empty book for the writer, and a blank canvas for the artist.

    But for me, it's a woman. Someone made up of equal parts beauty, kindness, and strength. A matriarch who is rich with experience but curious as a child. A cowgirl who loves and fights and feels until she's exhausted, and then continues anyway. When I envision the soul of the Teton area, I see a woman like Jane Golliher.

    Jane Golliher riding a horse at Diamond Cross Ranch in Jackson Hole Jane Golliher is a third generation rancher and the owner of Diamond Cross Ranch in Jackson Hole Jane Golliher at Diamond Cross Ranch barn in Jackson Hole

    At 73 years wild, Jane Golliher is a living picture of Teton culture. The third-generation rancher and owner of Diamond Cross is a fierce protector of these lands and a beautiful role model for Jackson. She is simultaneously tough and kind, gentle and passionate. Like Jackson, it’s the ineffable “something” living in her soul that truly inspires you. A something born of tradition, cultivated by decades of grit and determination, and passed down with care and love.

    Ranch Life

    “There’s cold days, there’s long days, but there’s never boring days,” says Jane Golliher in a Mountain of Youth video.

    Her family’s Jackson Hole history dates back to 1912 when her grandparents homesteaded on the Diamond Cross Ranch. Indeed, boring days do not frequent this 100+ year history.

    “Awesome!” is Jane’s response when I ask her what it was like to grow up on a ranch in Wyoming. “At that time, Moran and Jackson were cow towns, a ranching community… and the ranchers all worked together.” She reminisces on cattle drives as a girl when she would help her family and other ranch owners, who she respectfully lists by name, in running as a unit across miles of mountainous land.

    As if it’s not already evident in her work, it becomes even more clear as she speaks just how passionate Jane is for this land and the ranching families who built and shaped it.

    Protecting the Ranch, Protecting Jackson

    “We grew up riding horses and loving what we did,” Jane reponds when asked if owning and running the ranch was always the dream. “I didn’t really have the foresight, back then, to think of doing soemthing different.”

    But as she explains how the property has been preserved and the business has changed, it’s clear the road wasn’t easy. “The original ranch is owned by four families,” she explains. Her brothers and sisters have put their portions in conservation easements, thanks to the Jackson Hole Land Trust, which allows the land to be preserved for future generations while benefitting the families who donated.

    For Diamond Cross, however, Jane and her husband Grant who own the working cattle ranch have worked relentlessly to protect it and create a sustainable life for their family. Cattle ranching, they explained, takes a ton of labor and often doesn’t generate enough money to make a living. While many local ranchers were forced to sell to developers, the Golliher’s added an event venue, guest cabins, horse training and apparel sales to theirs, supplementing their income.

    “It’s been a real priveledge to share this beauty with the world,” says Jane. And she’s committed to preserving that beauty for future generations.

    A Day in the Life

    “It varies a lot,” says Jane. Diamond Cross is both a working cattle ranch and world-class event venue.

    “She rotates the cattle daily,” Grant steps in and explains when Jane humbly starts talking about everyone else’s work on the ranch. “Practically every day she’ll keep the cattle moving from peice of ground to piece of ground.” Together they manage about 100 head of yearling cattle on 100 acres in a system called “locational grazing.”

    “In the summer we’ll irregate and do our work early in the morning so we’re finished in time for events,” adds Jane. “Grant will also start young horse and ride the finished horses to keep them in shape.” Jane’s husband is a world-renowned horse trainer and writer who recently published a book, Think Like a Horse.

    Today, Diamond Cross Ranch is well-known nationwide and has hosted some of the most iconic guests and spectacular celebrations the Tetons have ever seen.

    Advice for Visitors

    “For one thing, I’d tell them to take their time and see the whole valley,” Jane advises. “Rather than just seeing the main valley and the popular areas. I’d suggest they slow down and just enjoy the surroundings.”

    “Ranchers are the Best Stewards of Jackson Hole”

    “Ranchers are conservationists. Ranchers are stewards of the land,” says the Golliher family. “They take care of the wildlife as much as they take care of their own cattle.” Jane continues, “we should be so thankful to [ranchers’] dedication to the Valley… If all the ranches and land were developed, it would be a very different Valley.”

    As Jackson has evolved from a primarily ranching community to a major tourist destination, progress and tradition have been pinned against each other. However, in reality, the two are not opposites. They’re not even enemies. Jane Golliher and Diamond Cross Ranch are an example of this.

    Due to the ranches’ innovation and progress, they’re able to protect a 112-year history. And Jane has a unique ability to see the community through experienced but curious eyes. She has 73 years worth of stories that shape the person she’s become, and yet she remains open to new ideas and different perspectives.

    That’s the power of the Mountain of Youth. That’s the spirit of the Tetons.