The first time I came to Thacker Pass, I walked up the old dirt road heading back towards the canyons of the Montana Mountains.

Eventually, I came to a gate along a barbed-wire fence, and I saw one of the biggest, oldest sagebrush bushes I have ever seen.

She is tall, six and a half feet, and broad. Her main trunk is thicker than both my hands can encircle. I immediately nicknamed her “Grandmother.”

Grandmother may be 100 years old or more (almost exactly the age that my human grandmother would be, if she were still alive).

It is clear to anyone who sits with her that she carries the wisdom of this place. She has survived droughts and fires. She has weathered deep snows and fierce winds. She has spread her seeds across this mountainside, and she has fed pronghorn and sage grouse.

She has seen Paiutes moving through the pass, harvesting food and medicine. Within her lifetime, the old Indian trail across Thacker Pass was widened into a dirt road, and then pavement — a bulldozer plowing through her relatives.

Read the rest at Sierra Nevada Ally.