Tuesday morning I had the unexpected pleasure of sitting down with Bruce Brower and Jan Arnell, children of Stephen Brower, who readers of Downwind will remember from Chapter 3 "Home on the Range," which discusses the Cedar City sheep die off of 1953. Jan graciously allowed me to look through her father's papers about the incident, which span several decades and have been assiduously preserved and organized, thanks to Jan.
They document the career and efforts of a principled and earnest individual who spent years advocating for the ranchers of Iron County.
I was thrilled to look through his papers, which included ample correspondence between Brower and AEC officials, public health officials, elected officials, private contractors brought in by the AEC to help assess the afflicted livestock, and later, Governor Scott Matheson of Utah, who also advocated strongly for the people of his state who had been affected by radiation. Brower saved his copies of meeting minutes with the livestockmen and the AEC, reports on the sheep deaths, and newspaper clippings documenting years worth of controversy around the sheep case. He even corresponded with former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall about Udall's efforts to organize Downwinder plaintiffs and "embarass the government into acting."
It was an unexpected pleasure to get to interview Jan and Bruce about their father. Here's hoping some day I get a chance to do another edition of Downwind that includes some of the fascinating data from his personal papers.