Latest from The Spokesman-Review
PUBLIC LANDS — The recent Nevada ATV armed protest onto U.S. Bureau of Land Management lands closed to motor vehicle travel is a sham and a shame.
It's no more worthy of public sympathy than the related gun and flag-waving protest over a deadbeat Nevada rancher's claim that he should be able to graze cattle on public lands without paying a fee, despite what the courts say.
Imagine how history might have turned out if Rosa Parks had been brandishing an automatic weapon when she boarded that bus in Montgomery, Ala., all those years ago,” starts a Salt Lake Tribune editorial. The piece is headlined, “ATV riders do damage to a bad cause.”
“The cause of those who carried automatic weapons, protest signs, Don’t Tread On Me flags and, worst of all, their own children Saturday on a clearly illegal ATV ride through Recapture Canyon near Blanding does not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the Civil Rights Movement.
“Except to point out how the tactics of those who demand the right to play with their expensive toys on land that they have absolutely no legal right to traverse are clearly destructive of a goal that was utterly without merit to begin with….
“In the eyes of most of the American people — and their members of Congress — who really own all that land, Saturday’s ride was accurately discerned as a childish snit fit that should only confirm BLM policy to keep such folks out of environmentally or historically sensitive lands.”
See a detailed story on the ATV rebellion by High Country News.
The Daily Show was off during the height of the standoff between Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management. Last night, Jon Stewart made up for lost time.
There are two clips on the segment, although you'll have to wait through a commercial at the start of each one.
UPDATED 3:18 p.m. to properly attribute Taylor quote.
PUBLIC LANDS — Washington State Rep. Matt Shea has ridden out of his Spokane Valley district on his white horse to save us from the overpowering federal government as he stands in lock-step with a Nevada rancher who's stolen more than $1 million in grazing favors from public land.
Whom will Shea stand up for next? The guy who says he has a Constitutional right to rob the Post Office?
Shea says he was compelled to back Cliven Bundy as he joined Rep. Dave Taylor for a trip to the Bundy Ranch. As Taylor put it,“If we don’t stand up for our neighbors, there won’t be anybody left when they come for us.”
The confrontation stems around a Nevada rancher who doesn't recognize the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as the owner of the public land he wants to graze his cattle on. Bundy has declined to pay about $1 million in fees while he lets his stock run amock where law abiding ranchers don't.
Trouble is, the BLM isn't the only voice saying Bundy is breaking the law. So have the courts, twice.
The courts, at last check, are our nation's way of settling points of law.
BLM backed away from confiscating Bundy's cattle — seizing the stock was authorized by a judge — when supporters came in and posed the climate for a violent confrontation.
So where do we go from here?
The public owns the land, not the rancher. If every man who fabricates a disagreement with the government decides to run his cattle — or cuts his trees, builds his roads, kills his game, nets his fish, or fires up his bulldozer — the way he sees fit, the American icon of public land will be lost.
That, Mr. Shea, is what's worth standing up for. Not one man's greed and selfishness, but rather the rule of law and the overwhelming advantages of regulated public land.
The federal government has declared “war on rural America” with its rules and regulations on land use, a Spokane Valley legislator said in the wake of last week’s standoff between a Nevada rancher and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
In a speech on land near the center of the dispute, Republican Rep. Matt Shea called for federal land to be transferred to the states. A coalition of legislators from Western states was forming to stand up for Cliven Bundy and others in the fight against overbearing federal rules, he said.
But a spokesman for the group challenging Bundy's rights to graze hundreds of cattle on federal land without a permit or paying fees, said the rancher is trying to do something other cattlemen can't. And a federal judge's order supports that view. . .
To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.
To read the federal judge's order in the legal battle between the BLM and Cliven Bundy, click on the document below.