January 15, 2016 AD
The federal government holds control over half of all the land in western states, smaller portions in other states. In Nevada, for example, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) controls 85% of the entire state.
Out in ranch country, ranchers have used federal lands for generations to fatten cattle. As government controls grow, tensions between farmers and ranchers escalate to alarming levels.
Molly Hennesey-Fisk reports for the LA Times from Battle Mountain, Nevada.
Furtado, district manager for the last five years, listens to the honking from inside his office. He is no longer allowed to speak publicly and was recently forced to back off on drought-driven grazing restrictions he imposed in 2013 and cede control of negotiations with ranchers to the state director.
Filippini and other ranchers have sued, staged a “pony express” protest ride on horseback to Washington, D.C., and petitioned for Furtado’s ouster. Last spring, they flouted Furtado’s order, set their cattle loose on the public range, and if the agency can’t broker an agreement soon, they’re poised to do it again.
“There’s no more partnership,” Filippini said. “Now it’s them or us.”
When Obama forced a shutdown of federal government back in 2013, he ordered his subordinates to “make it as painful as possible“. At that, the state of Arizona offered to fully fund the Grand Canyon, but Obama refused.
Can there be any doubt? Those majestic purple mountains and the fruited plain belong to We the People, not to a tyrannical federal government.
Urge your Congressional delegation to release ALL federal lands not engaged in Department of Defense to the states in which they are located.