Rancher Terrorists‏

by Stephen Capra

So a week has passed and we have witnessed a standoff continue that should never have started. The motley crew led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, sons of the terrorist Cliven Bundy continue to laugh and mock the very Government that has fed their families for generations.

There remain many shocking aspects about this “armed standoff” with this group of home grown terrorists. Most of it however should be focused on the federal government response. I think it can be viewed along the lines of the “Affluenza defense.” You see in this case the government has done all it can for far too long to allow this group of its spoiled, lazy, bored and angry children to thrive. Examples include: endless subsidies, low to no interest loans, the endless destruction of public lands and waters at the hands of cattle and sheep and the well documented killing and torture of wildlife, all to appease their endless whining and inability of the majority to move cattle and employ measures to limit predator confrontations.

Let’s talk for a minute about how agencies like the BLM or forest service, lower their standards and allow endless violations and seemingly always bend over backwards to keep ranchers happy, while naturally ignoring conservation concerns. Finally, the response and this is crucial.

Some reports have said that employees at Malheur were told a week in advance that this group of radicals was coming and they cleared their offices. If true, why clear the office and leave, rather than block the entrance to the refuge with enough police and federal officials to make this ragtag group turn and leave?

Second. Given what occurred in Nevada last year, why are we waiting them out. Sure, lots of talk has been given to Ruby Ridge and other such sieges. Yet, in no other criminal activity in America with this level of publicity, have we witnessed the police or federal officials give the criminals such opportunity, such incredible leeway. This appears to be a decision by federal officials that plays right into the “affluenza” defense. By not charging Cliven Bundy last year after guns were pointed at federal officials (a felony) and ignoring all the money owed to the government (more than one million dollars). The federal government is allowing the rhetoric of these radicals-that the federal government does not own these lands or has any say in controlling ranching efforts, to begin to have validity.

So why is the government not acting? In part perhaps because republican lawmakers went crazy a few years ago at the mere effort by some experts to speak about domestic, home grown terrorism, the type we are now witnessing. The results, if you’re Muslim, leave the county, if you are a radical rancher- no charges. Furthermore, the vortex of guns, religion, flag waving, anti-environmental, constitution preaching, anti-government fervor is being exacerbated by a lack of a solid government response to such hostile ignorance.

What this occupation has done is created an opportunity, the chance to finally awaken the public to reality of public lands ranching in 2016. The goal: to raise grazing fees, to place a methane tax on cows, to demand a federal buy-out program and to end once any funding for predator control or killing.

But none of this can happen until the government and our President make clear that these acts of violence must be stopped. This Tuesday, the President will deliver his final State of the Union Address. The chair next to the First Lady will be empty, a symbol of all Americans lost to gun violence. The President must make clear in his speech what America plans to do with these home-grown terrorists and should also make clear the importance and constitutional right of our spectacular protected public lands for all Americans.

Finally, our National Parks, Wilderness areas, Refuges remain to many a scared trust. These lands, many stolen from our Native American brethren, are a symbol of life. Much like the Statue of Liberty has appeared to those seeking a new life; our protected lands are a place for the heart and soul to revive, and for wildlife to thrive. This takeover is made more heinous, because it desecrates this place of beauty and peace.

Let them rot in prison.

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13 thoughts on “Rancher Terrorists‏

  1. Amen to everything said here! Since the government appears too timid to do anything, maybe they could send in some armed members of the Animal Rights Militia to make citizens’ arrests. I’d be the first to volunteer for the mission if the National Guard would lend me a flame thrower.

  2. Steve Capra’s typo is to the point: public land has become a “scared trust.” Among the groups which Capra actively works with is the Backcountry Hunter and Anglers. Here’s the concern they expressed to the Oregonian:
    Putnam of the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers said he’s also concerned about the people involved. He said the occupation is dividing the community and could harm relationships that hunters, lawmakers, federal agencies and ranchers have worked for years to forge.

  3. Count me in, Geoff. And, when are so-called “wildlife” groups going to stop being so wimpy? We just had a rally yesterday where the NM Game Commission was meeting, to once again deny the Turner (Ladder Ranch) a permit to take Mexican wolves for holding, to release in the Gila.

    At the two previous meetings, people were so outraged at this hunter, rancher, trapping commission, loaded with Safari Club, Boone & Crockett and moocher/ranchers, they shouted “shame, animal killers”—-such terrible stuff, eh? So, yesterday, we were admonished by a Defenders rep. who apparently “works with” some ranchers, hunters, to be “respectful, polite” when entering the meeting! People came to this meeting/rally from hundreds of miles away, and have had no “respect” from these animal killers–ever.

    So, the next time Michael Dax of Defenders preaches another word to us about being respectful, he’ s going to get my advice. This is a big problem. We, on the side of The Wild, not only have to contend with the assault on wildlife by ranchers, hunters, trappers, but we have to contend with “wildlife” groups genuflecting to appease The Enemy—and it isn’t working anyway, is it?

    More animals are dying as a result. I am disgusted with these groups. “Send us money, help us save wolves.” No, get some intestinal fortitude, and quit trying to be friends with the enemies, then we can talk about a donation!

    By the way, the commission vote was 7-0 once again denying the Turner ranch permit. This makes any wolf reintroduction literally impossible. And,this commission does not meet with the public for another 4 years. Michael Dax’s response to the vote was: “its disappointing” Disappointing? If he had asked some of us, who have witnessed this tragedy for years, we could have told him before the meeting, what the vote would be.

    • I wonder if they can be taken to court – these wolves are still protected under the ESA (for now anyway). I know those spineless wonders at USF&W are whining about how this program isn’t working and how they want to end it. This is what the current administration in Washington does – endless appeasement with those who are not sincere and have a different agenda. I cringe at the arrogance of their claiming they want to ‘improve’ upon the ESA by weakening it. Counting the minutes till these people get the boot, and fade into obscurity before they can do any more damage.

  4. Just want to add that this Bundy-rancher fiasco, has actually helped bring the issue of environmentally- destructive public lands ranching to the forefront. And its about time. There was something of a movement in the late 80’s into early 90’s, but many of the groups got too wimpy, and the dangerous trend to compromise, to get along with everyone, and not be too “radical” became the norm.
    This is where we are today, with more wild species near the brink of extinction, with more wild public lands & water spoiled, with federal and state agencies afraid to deal with the livestock industry and their hunting/trapping allies. But we are starting to see a glimmer of hope for, perhaps, a new, bolder movement, which should not be afraid of being “anti.” It is not a dirty word. Let’s keep the momentum going, folks! There is a lot at stack, and The Wild doesn’t have much time.


  5. I hope they fumigate the place and give it a good bleachdown for norovirus after these guys leave. Having them there makes my skin crawl. Going through that biologist’s office, ridiculing her, and I hope they haven’t destroyed things like the Neo-nazi thugs they really are. I doubt we’ll ever know.

    That the media has even slightly given them a platform and sympathy for their ‘oppression’, and at least one tries to make the case that we shouldn’t call them terrorists, makes me see red.

  6. Ruby Ridge and Waco are on everyone’s mind when this kind of a standoff occurs. But those were different times and places.

    Ruby Ridge, Idaho, was the site of a deadly confrontation in 1992 between Randy Weaver, his family, and his friend Kevin Harris, and agents of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Waco, Texas, was the site of a confrontation between 76 members of a cult, the Branch Davidians, and the FBI, where 76 members of the cult died. However, the Weavers and the Branch Davidians didn’t have the political and economic power that the ranchers have. They were not members of large and wealthy organizations as the ranchers are. They didn’t have legislators they eased into office. They didn’t have an armed militia providing “security.”

    The Bundy issue reveals a big fracture in the environmental movement between the deep ecology groups that view land and the animals as having intrinsic value in and of themselves, along with the right to be left alone, and the wise use groups that view everything as a resource for human beings. The Bundy’s want more–more land, more cattle, more money. With the constantly increasing human population here and abroad craving more steaks, the demand is there and Cliven and the boys are willing to supply it.

    The immediate attention is on the Bundy’s and their followers, but there is a confluence of interested groups, including the hunters and trappers that want more access to animals on the land, as well as the loggers and miners thirsting for profits who are watching. The “motley crew” probably has a lot of fans. The militia goes along out of hatred for Big Government.

    The BLM sees this as a powder keg should it go badly. Will be watching.

  7. There doesn’t have to be one shot fired. Those fears are out of proportion for this small group. Just go in there an at least try to disperse and/or arrest them if they don’t leave? Or even ask them to leave nicely (with a bullhorn)? We wouldn’t want to harm their delicate ears I suppose. 🙂

    • This is why we need to admonish anyone in this latest “free our public lands” effort if they accept the compromise to keep public lands open to more hunting, trapping and grazing, which is the dangerous trend. We are seeing wildlife, environmental groups accepting this nonsense, along with many politicians: it’s called “public access.”
      The wild animals cannot stand more public access. In fact, I believe that any of us who really want to protect wild species should vehemently work to rid these lands of hunting/trapping & ranching, and some areas should not even be available to hikers.
      I personally would be happy to know that there are some places I cannot go–because it is strictly for the wild species. Why, because wherever humans go, it compromises the wild, and we ruin it.

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