You can’t ‘take back’ public lands. They already belong to all of us.

by on January 26, 2016 · 1 comment

in Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights, Environment, History, Media, Politics

The extremists occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are missing the point.

By Jamie Williams / Washington Post / January 25, 2016

(Jamie Williams is president of the Wilderness Society)

The extremists occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge may have thought they were “taking back” seized land on behalf of local ranchers. In reality, these gun-toting intruders are attempting to seize land that belongs to all of us. Their actions are nothing less than an attack on the property and the rights of the American people.

The misguided protesters believe that this treasured wildlife refuge, a sanctuary for more than 300 bird species, should be handed over to a small group of rule-breakers to exploit and profit from as they wish, at the expense of the public and of future generations.

This understanding of our public lands is not shared by most ranchers I have worked with in Montana and other states in the West, who understand the true value of our natural heritage. I’ve found they are infinitely more likely to invite you in for a cup of coffee and a thoughtful conversation about land use. Brandishing firearms is not the way they argue a point.

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Rufus January 28, 2016 at 7:43 am

Look with suspicion upon the rancher vs the federal government argument for a second. You’ll find the majority of ranchers running cattle on Federal leases are fine with the program, as is. Yes they grumble about environmenal regulations. Change is tough. But I’d urge you to think a litle bit deeper.

The leaders of the occupation, the Bundy brothers and the deceased Lavoy Finicum, are devout, and some would say radical, Mormons. Do a little research on Mormon Manifest Destiny.

I believe the spark for this occupation is a Mormon-based belief that ownership of the land and its natural resources, especially in the west, is divinely inspired for the purpose of the creation of “God’s Zion.”

Sounds wacky, but why are the leaders of this little circus all Mormon??


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