David French of National Review has posted an article titled The Case for Civil Disobedience in Oregon. In the article, he details our leviathan government’s ruthless hounding and prosecution of the Hammond family of ranchers.
As French lays out the scenario, it made me think how easy it is for us city folk to sneer at the ranchers and their supporters. Most of us live in apartments, townhouses and single family dwellings, commute to work on the train or bus and pat ourselves on the back if we manage to grow a tomato or two.
Ranchers (and farmers) deal with living things. The animals they raise for our food can get sick or killed by predators. Invasive species can take over a feed crop that they are raising to feed the animals. Everything they do is regulated, for our safety, by the federal government.
47% of the 11 coterminous western states [is federally owned]. By contrast, the federal government owns only 4% in the other states. This western concentration has contributed to a higher degree of controversy over land ownership and use in that part of the country
The federal government owns such a small part of the non-Western states that it doesn’t affect our lives, pretty much. But, with the federal government owning so much acreage in each of the Western states, it would be likely that in any direction of your privately owned land, the federal government is your neighbor.
Don’t forget the alphabet of agencies ready to swoop down with regulatory talons to prosecute you for any violations of ever expanding rules and regulations. The United States Forest Service (USFS), the National Park Service (NPS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), just to name a few of these agencies.
So Hammond father and son had two controlled or prescribed burns five years apart (2001 and 2006) that did some (arguable) damage to federal lands. Check out this article from New Canaan News about ranchers suing over a 2013 U.S. Forest Service controlled burn that got out of control. It happens. Things don’t always go as they should. The Hammonds paid for their “crimes” and are paying again, because the feds want another pound of flesh.
Against this vicious prosecution, double jeopardy and probable land grab federal greed, some other ranchers and sympathizers have taken over an abandoned wildlife refuge center as an act of civil disobedience. The left is acting as though this is akin to the Ferguson and Baltimore riots. Where are the burning businesses and cars, marchers and hatred?