Lone Wolf Rancher

AZ Rancher – Images by Pat Shannahan
Maryann Pratt is one of a kind. I visited her ranch several times for a story I worked on with Arizona Republic reporter Dennis Wagner. She lives off the grid by herself on the Mazatzal Wilderness, working over 100 cattle on an allotment so large it takes three days to cross it by horseback. In oder to get to her ranch I had to backpack over a mountain. I was fascinated by how self sufficient she was. She has satellite internet, solar electricity, and provides for a lot of her own food. On her ranch, there is no one to pass the buck to. If something breaks, she’s gotta fix it. If the cattle need to be rounded up, she’s gotta do it.

“I have had my share of heartbreak, sure,” she says. “But I live here because it suits my nature. . . . I never run out of something new to see or different types of work, and most importantly, nobody tells me what to do. I just love that! Guess I am just a hermit at heart. I am one of the luckiest people I know, to have this place . . . and an opportunity to work on it.”

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