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Wyoming's "Cowboy Ethics" Code: Get the Full List Here!

If you have not already heard, Wyoming's Gov. Dave Freudenthal signed into law on Wednesday a state code of "Cowboy Ethics."

One of our readers, Tom Winiecki of Phoenix, Arizona, e-mailed Bob Boze Bell to tell him he read about the news in today's Arizona Republic. "I believe that the state of Arizona would be a better place if we could enact it here," he says.

It certainly couldn't hurt!

Yet most of the news stories I read about this did not include the full list. I figured I'd go locate Senate File 51 for all of you, so you could read Wyoming's "Code of the West."

"The code of the west, as derived from the book, Cowboy Ethics by James P. Owen, and summarized as follows, is the official state code of Wyoming." (By the way, notice the cover photograph is by David Stoecklein, our photography judge for our photo contest. YOU should enter! The deadline is April 1!)

The code includes:

(i) Live each day with courage;

(ii) Take pride in your work;

(iii) Always finish what you start;

(iv) Do what has to be done;

(v) Be tough, but fair;

(vi) When you make a promise, keep it;

(vii) Ride for the brand;

(viii) Talk less, say more;

(ix) Remember that some things are not for sale;

(x) Know where to draw the line.

Sponsor Sen. Jim Anderson, R-Glenrock decided to introduce this measure after watching a video of Wyoming residents extolling the ethics talked about in Owen's b ook. It's called "The Code of the West: Alive and Well in Wyoming." The video is produced by Havey Productions of Denver, Colorado.

Congratulations Wyoming! You got Steamboat bucking on your license plates, and now you got 10 "Cowboy Ethics" for a state code



Meghan Saar

Managing Editor
True West magazine

Views: 3541

Comment by Meghan Saar on March 4, 2010 at 3:49pm
I was in Buffalo Bill country, Cody, Wyoming, for the Western Writers of America conference in June 2006. I spent a whole day wandering around the Draper Museum, being a total nerd, jotting down all these notes—the Draper is my favorite museum at BBHC. Unfortunately I did not get to visit Yellowstone as the eastern entrance was closed at that time. Can you imagine that?! Next time I go.... :)
Comment by R.M.Cole on March 4, 2010 at 5:50pm
The Los Angeles Times had a "news brief" about this in today's paper. I was hoping someone would post about it (I knew I'd get too busy at work and forget to do it myself). Thanks for posting it.
Comment by Lynda Gager on March 5, 2010 at 8:35am
I proudly called Wyoming home for most of my life and when people ask me where I'm from I still say "Wyoming"!


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