‘An amazing achievement’
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Suicide of Marlene Braun

‘She was able to keep the grazing off the bottom land for the last four years. It was an amazing achievement compared to what had happened before it was a monument.’ Irv McMillan, a longtime cattleman and friend of Marlene Braun (Al Seib / LAT)
After going through her friend’s belongings, Kathy Hermes at first got angry. Then she acted. She wrote to her congressman, who requested a federal investigation (Al Seib / LAT)
FERVENT: The Bureau of Land Management’s Marlene Braun, in ’99 with her dogs in Alaska, site of an earlier assignment, called California’s Carrizo Plain “a place where I finally found a home.” (Al Seib/ LAT)
VISTA: The view from the porch looks across the austere plain shared by antelope and falcons, the California condor and the California jewelflower. (Al Seib / LAT)
BOSS: Ron Huntsinger came with marching orders almost guaranteed to bring him into conflict with Braun. (Al Seib / LAT)
PLAIN: What began as a policy dispute — to graze or not to graze livestock on the grasslands — became a morass of environmental politics and office feuding. (Al Seib / LAT)
IN HONOR: Friends left a plant memorial on the gate to the ranch house at Carrizo Plain National Monument where Marlene Braun killed herself this spring. (Al Seib / LAT)