One hundred and fifty citizens, including several members of the Bundy family, have occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters.
“We’re going to be freeing these lands up, and getting ranchers back to ranching, getting the loggers back to logging, getting the miners back to mining where they could do it under the protection of the people and not be afraid of this tyranny that’s been set upon them,” said Ammon Bundy, the leader of the group, in a Facebook video posted by Sarah Dee Spurlock on Saturday.
One of the first things I learned when I moved out West is how much of the land is owned by the federal government. It’s a lot.
Over 53% of the state of Oregon is owned by the federal government. The federal government does not next nothing to manage the forests and so the forests get overgrown and catch on fire and destroy property. (Forest fires don’t seem to know what land is owned by the feds and what are owned by Oregonians. Net effect? Probably more dead spotted owls.) Oregon was once the forest capital of America but now it’s been reduced and the logging jobs are all but gone.
That’s the context for the occupation of the federal building. This restrictive land policy gets seemingly more restrictive all the time, especially as environmentalist diktats control how water and land may be used. This increases the price of land and harms the middle class.
Senator Ron Wyden of
Oregon (he really lives in New York!) blamed global warming for the recent forest fires that devastated most of the state but it’s very clearly a policy of lack of forest management.
When ranchers try to protect their own land the feds throw them in jail.
— Deplorable Ginger (@Reagan_Girl) October 13, 2015
Indeed the federal government owns approximately 85% of the land in Nevada, 69% of the land in Alaska and 57% of the land in Utah. This land was intended for the citizens of the state to develop, not to become preserves of the rich and powerful. Note, for instance, how the political class in Nevada has profited off of the use of the land through solar farms or mining deals.
No one had a problem when Eric Holder and other black panther supports occupied a dean’s office at Columbia and rechristened it the “Malcolm X” lounge but that’s exactly what he did.
I don’t necessarily support armed men showing up but when the federal government behaves tyrannically this is what winds up happening. The better policy would be to let people use the federal land and sell it off so that it won’t burn off!