Balloon Juice Bunker Standoff Update Day 4: Steps are Being Taken

Since John has already covered the Malheur Wildlife Refuge events twice today, I’m going to keep this one short. According to the Harney County Sheriff steps are being taken to resolve the standoff. And while they may not be visible, they are happening. He also indicated that his priority is the security and safety of the residents of Harney County while the FBI, Park Service, and other Federal officials take the lead in resolving the problem.

Despite some reports last night that Ammon Bundy indicated he and his followers would go home if asked by the local citizenry, he issued a statement today that that wouldn’t happen. Specifically last night’s tweet was from his brother Ryan and Ammon’s statement today was: “”We have been very active in forwarding our plan and assisting the people of Harney County in claiming and using their rights, then we will go home.” He then contradicted himself, making some remarks similar to his brother, but they were heavily caveated. Ammon Bundy indicated that if the locals asked them to leave they would, but that they’ve seen no indication of this yet. And that their purpose for being there was: “to get the logger back to logging, to get the rancher back to ranching, to get the miner back to mining, the farmer back to farming and to jump-start this economy”. What any of that has to do with the Constitution, I have no idea.

For those interested, here’s a link to an Oregon Live article that itself links to ten articles detailing all the charges and court case information regarding the Hammonds. This is the necessary background reading that needed to be out in the news media last week, but seems to just be trickling out now.






98 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Send in the bears to go all Revenant on their asses.

  2. 2
    The Other Bob says:

    They better charge those a**holes with something.

  3. 3
    WereBear says:

    @Baud: That’s the kind of leadership I can support. Baud!2016!

    :)

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    That the entire situation rates so much real estate on the front page is a puzzlement.

  5. 5
    Origuy says:

    My friend Erik is a retired professor at BYU and wrote about the situation at his blog, Mormon Iconoclast. On Facebook, he posted a link to another blog giving a tongue-in-cheek Mormon perspective.

  6. 6
    WereBear says:

    @NotMax: This is a highly overt expression of what they have been ranting about since 2008.

    Worth following.

  7. 7

    @NotMax:
    It combines being a follow-up to a more serious event, militia action is an important topic even if this particular takeover is pathetic, it provides context to one of the most important issues of the day (cops killing blacks), and it’s friggin’ hilarious because the reason it’s not inherently important is the utter Fail of the guys trying to perform a major act of terrorism/insurrection.

  8. 8
    Annamal says:

    At least the population is having fun:

    #DaddySworeAnOath has some hilarious entries now (mostly thanks to John Darnielle).

  9. 9
    NobodySpecial says:

    You know, in the end, this is nothing new. After all, younger sons have no chance of inheriting, so send them off on a Crusade and maybe they’ll get some land somewhere else.

  10. 10
    kc says:

    I’m gonna be pretty pissed if these assholes get away with this.

  11. 11
    kc says:

    Their stated goals don’t seem to have anything to do with the Hammonds.

  12. 12
    dedc79 says:

    I like this Sheriff:

    “I think if one person gives them a Snickers bar, they’re going on national media and claiming that the community supports them”

    That’s not too far from the “Do Not Feed the Animals” sign at the zoo.

  13. 13
    David Koch says:

    All they need to do is cut off their access to the NFL playoffs (their reason for living) and they’ll be out of there is a New York minute.

  14. 14
    JPL says:

    @The Other Bob: Although I support Baud, I doubt his wish will come true, so your idea seems plausible. If not, I’m going to really pissed.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: Keeps me off the streets…

  16. 16

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Roaming bands of international affairs experts were a big urban problem in the early 80s, I remember.

  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:

    I wish I could share somebody’s Facebook post here, but it was basically a LOL with the Bundy guy on top saying, “Send supplies” and Obama saying, “Sorry, we’re all out of supplies — how about some #ThoughtsAndPrayers?”

    (If you’re on Facebook, I think it was posted by God. No, really.)

  18. 18
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Just linked some interesting reading at John’s post:

    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/01/05/priceless-3/#comment-5609015

    It seems that these bobos are not entirely supported by their fringy friends.

  19. 19
    JPL says:

    @Origuy: That was interesting but children are being deprived of an education because they closed schools. If you are a working parent, that’s a tremendous hardship. I know that the population is small, but they are causing harm.

  20. 20
    Davebo says:

    These Skewers on Ritzheimer’s “Daddy swore an oath” video over at TPM were cute.

  21. 21

    @NotMax: I agree. Its not like they have taken over some Federal building in Washington DC.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Not to mention 2001-2006 in the Bush 43 Administration.

  23. 23
    Origuy says:

    @JPL: No argument from me. I wonder, though, if the schools are closed because of the guys in the refuge or the ones still in town. They would be more of a problem.

    There’s an other Twitter game: #AddSnacksToAnyHistoricalQuote.

  24. 24
    jl says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: There will be a foreign policy expert stand off like this some day when a convention hotel denies them access to a conference, and they sneak in anyway and occupy a ballroom. Credibility chits and strength and resolve points will fly fast and thick, and I hope it ends peacefully.

    Thanks to AS and the obstreperous Cole for giving up updates. I am disappointed that they have backed down from sanity. But maybe the law enforcement can truck out a few of the good sovereign citizens of Burns, who will ask to go home. Might be worth a try.Might work if the revolutionists accept the good people’s sovereign citizenship papers.

  25. 25
    Tim C. says:

    I can’t speak with the authority of those who have actually done the research on all the little details, but I actually did used to live in eastern Oregon and the hatred of the BLM was really palpable when I lived there. I kept my yap shut and pretended to be ignorant, but basically ranchers had a really really sweet deal from the feds until about 1993. Before then, the fees for using BLM land were a fraction of the costs the government spent in keeping the land usable for grazing. (The environmental cost being significant as well) Then they had to start paying something close to the actual cost of keeping the land viable for ranching. This combined with the Brady Bill sent most of my neighbors at the time into a full wingnut ragegasm that was still going strong when I left in 1998. Probably W calmed them down for a spell, but I can’t even imagine what they say about Obama in private. TL;DR: They’ve been pissed of for at least 23 years.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Origuy: My entry:

    Mr Gorbachev, tear down this nacho. #AddSnacksToAnyHistoricalQuote.

  27. 27
    jl says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: If you think pet pix will magically appear just because Burns crisis posts stop, I think that you are sadly mistaken.

  28. 28
    raven says:

    @Tim C.: Rachel is showing footage of George Wallace and Trump hammering the “msm” . Same rage. Fuck em.

  29. 29
    WereBear says:

    @Tim C.: Strangely enough, wingnuts don’t seem to have the concept of fairness.

    You can get a group of toddlers to agree on fairness using portions of M&Ms. Yet wingnuts never talk about fairness, and refuse to understand.

  30. 30
    Schlemazel says:

    @Origuy:

    NUTS!

    – Gen. Anthony McAuliffe

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Schlemazel: FTW!

  32. 32
    Schlemazel says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    It works on so many levels including a description of Bozo Haram as well as being historically accurate. I was proud of myself for thinking of it. But then I’m easy to please.

  33. 33
    jl says:

    @WereBear: Just a little semantic problem. Fair is that they get what they really want real bad

    @Tim C.:

    Nationally, at least, leasing land from the feds still seems to be great deal. Are the rental fees for private land lower in SE Oregon?

    The Armed Oregon Ranchers Who Want Free Land Are Already Getting A 93 Percent Discount
    http://fivethirtyeight.com/fea.....-discount/

  34. 34
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Schlemazel: Feel my envy burning from across the Mississippi.

  35. 35
    jl says:

    @Schlemazel: That is awesome. Hope you become the Burns Rebellion official historian.

  36. 36
    dr. bloor says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Posses gone wilding in power yellow ties. Bad times, bad times indeed.

  37. 37
    amk says:

    bj has a bunker?

  38. 38
    NonyNony says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    Alex Jones also called them a “false flag operation” the other day.

    Basically the militia nuts who understand that what they’re doing is basically a LARP where they can pretend to be Big Man Freedom Fighter and don’ t want the FBI muscling in on their role playing game are upset at the guys who have lost their bearings and have mistaken the game for reality a la Tom Hanks in Mazes and Monsters. Because those guys are going to make it harder for the rest of them – just like they did in the 90s.

    (Honestly – I wish some of these guys would get turned onto Civil War cosplay and go become re-enactors. It’s a much healthier bit of roleplaying than the Militiaman game is, and you’re much less likely to mistake the game for reality. It’s probably too much to ask for them to join SCA, but Civil War re-enactment is right up a lot of these guys alleys and they should really look into it…)

  39. 39
    jl says:

    @dr. bloor: They turn on each other over the ultimatums, ultimata feud, and it gets very ugly.

  40. 40
    Bill_D says:

    And that their purpose for being there was: “to get the logger back to logging, to get the rancher back to ranching, to get the miner back to mining, the farmer back to farming and to jump-start this economy”. What any of that has to do with the Constitution, I have no idea.

    These fine folks have been put out of work by the tyrannical federal government acting outside its authority, through such means as owning and managing public lands for the general welfare of the country, and protecting endangered species, old-growth forests, etc.. So getting them all back to work on their own terms, without interference from environmentalists, bureaucrats, and those commie scientists who claim serious environmental damage from the old way of doing things, is all part and parcel of defending constitutional government. They think.

  41. 41
    jl says:

    @amk:

    ” bj has a bunker? ”

    Where Cole retreats when mysterious forces disappear his condiments.

  42. 42
    jl says:

    @Bill_D:

    ” to jump-start this economy ”

    Sounds like sovereign citizen macroeconomic policy. Never heard of that before. Wonder if there is a primer on that someplace? But I thought this was over principles, about Constitutionalizing rightly.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    OT: My god, Fay Wray screams a lot in King Kong.

  44. 44
    Schlemazel says:

    @jl:
    It was the breast of times, it was the wurst of times
    THESE are the times that try men’s sole. The summer sausage soldier and the sunny D patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of Frito-Lay and Slim Jim. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the scarcer the snack food, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing the fever for the flavor of a Pringle. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon these goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

  45. 45
    The Lodger says:

    @Origuy: I heard the occupier from Arizona on the radio this afternoon, and his argument sounded like pretzel logic to me.

  46. 46
    Poopyman says:

    @Schlemazel: Like Jesus, Tom Paine wept.

  47. 47
    jl says:

    @Schlemazel: See if you can sneak in there and get a gig as their publicist. You can be the Tom Paine of the Burns Revolt. Probably have to settle for pay in snacks for a while, though.

  48. 48
    Gex says:

    @NonyNony: That or join a paintball league. The advantages to that is you get to really shoot the weapons at people.

  49. 49
    Schlemazel says:

    @jl:
    I regret that I have but one but one Jacks Beef Jerky to get for my country.

  50. 50
    the Conster says:

    North Korea most likely just tested a nuke, being reported by AP and others. Hold onto your hats, and praise the FSM that PBO is at the helm.

  51. 51
    Tim C. says:

    @jl: I left the region for saner pastures (Portland). It wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that rates had been adjusted at some point. Greg Walden is the GOP rep for the area and I believe has some real pull.

  52. 52
    JPL says:

    Oh, no.. Anderson Cooper is reporting that the militants in Oregon are concerned because they heard there are arrest warrants for them.. DUH

    @the Conster: China is concerned also.

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @amk: You can’t have a standoff without a bunker. There’s protocols and rules and pages of regulations about these things.

  54. 54
    catclub says:

    @Schlemazel: Crisps for the battle of St Crispins day.

  55. 55
    jl says:

    @JPL: The local sheriff said publicly that the feds assured him that there would be charges against the Burns revolutionists. Maybe they missed the part where the sheriff added that he was only assured that those charges would occur sooner or later.

    From what I have read and seen in youtube clips, the sheriff has been sending signals that he is really pissed and does not want these folks to get away with this stunt. Which, if his department is so small, I can understand why.

    So, either he is a sinister federal spy, agent and thug inserted into a sovereign county government (the horrors!), the Bruns revoltists realize that the only lawful authority that they recognize is really mad at them.

  56. 56
    debbie says:

    And that their purpose for being there was: “to get the logger back to logging, to get the rancher back to ranching, to get the miner back to mining, the farmer back to farming and to jump-start this economy”. W

    And he thinks it’s setting up the refuge that killed those industries?

  57. 57
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well looks like you did not give all of us a proper sitrep tacops opsec brief, then. You sure you were in the army?

  58. 58
    jl says:

    @debbie: The federal government misinformation machine at the wildlife refuge website says that two big ranching families got tired of their big ranches that were not doing too well anymore and becoming a bother, and sold them off to the feds in the in 1930s.

  59. 59
    nutella says:

    @Tim C.:

    … they had to start paying something close to the actual cost of keeping the land viable for ranching. This combined with the Brady Bill sent most of my neighbors at the time into a full wingnut ragegasm

    An excellent example of the workings of privilege: Once a group is used to the privilege of getting a lot more benefits than their share, they are FURIOUS when those extra benefits are taken away and they get treated in an equitable way (just like everyone else).

    It’s the same with the 1% who have made off with a major part of the middle class’s income but are still FURIOUS when us peons don’t grovel to them in quite the abject way they feel they deserve.

    People really hate it when they lose privilege and I suspect that they get even more furious when they know that those privileges they used to have were totally un-deserved by them and unfair to everyone else.

  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: You’d be amazed. One of the reasons I don’t go to American Political Science Association meetings is that Bill Kristol always goes. And I swore, on the memories of friends/colleagues who didn’t make it back from the sandbox, that if I ever saw him again I’d kick him so hard in the balls he’d bleed out internally. By avoiding him I don’t have to make good.

    I also once scared Fareed Zakaria in the conference hotel gym. This was about ten or fifteen years ago. I think we were in Philadelphia. He weighs maybe 90 lbs soaking wet. He was in there working a ten lbs dumbbell really hard. I came, wiped a bench down, put my towel and water bottle down, grabbed to 90 lbs dumbbells, and started cranking off chest presses. He looked over at me, said something I didn’t make out – most likely about muscle bound something something – and I replied that I hoped to see him at my panel on terrorism and that I was Dr. Silverman. Books, judging, cover. And he never showed up either.

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: If you needed to know you would have. I can’t say anymore…

  62. 62
    Redshift says:

    @debbie:

    And he thinks it’s setting up the refuge that killed those industries?

    In a radio report I heard this afternoon, one of the locals who is somewhat sympathetic to them believes that it’s somehow the fault of the federal government that the sawmill that used to be the major employer in the area shut down. Funny how it’s always that and not the glorious free market when a company goes bust.

  63. 63
    debbie says:

    @jl:

    It would have been socialistic to make them stay and keep working for lower profits, I guess.

  64. 64
    debbie says:

    @Redshift:

    Exactly! They’ve got it ass backwards.

  65. 65
    Satby says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think you owe it to your nation to tell Bill Kristol about your vow and that you look forward to meeting him at the next American Political Science meeting.
    Anything that keeps that man out of the public space is a service to the country.

  66. 66
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Watching MSNBC– a guy is sitting, outside, on camera, in a rocking chair under a blue tarp. The reporter says he has a gun and is prepared to shoot to preserve his liberty. Or something.

    They stole a couple of pieces of heavy construction equipment to, apparently, build a barricade.

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NonyNony:

    I was comparing them to Bronys yesterday and, honestly, I don’t think I was that far off. They’re cosplayers who have convinced themselves that their cosplay world is real, which is what makes them simultaneously pathetic and dangerous.

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Satby: Its not worth it. I’ve seen the guy up close at these conferences. He couldn’t defend himself from a hamster. And having to keep a vow made in a fit of pique is never a good thing. Bill Kristol is simply not worth going to jail for.

  69. 69
    jl says:

    @Redshift: Cheap Canadian and Russian timber exports have messed up several national timber industries. The Burn Bunch needs to sign a sovereign citizen treaty with Finland and go to war. That would make headlines. And the GOP presidential contestants would have to support them. Will be a lot of defense contractor dollars in carpet bombing Canadian and Russian forests.

  70. 70
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If it helps, I’ll pardon you.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You could “have a seizure” while near him.*

    *This legal advice is worth every penny you paid for it.

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    I’m guessing it’s the same stagnant wages problem that all the rest of us are having — prices for housing and food keep going up, but income stays flat. Their income from ranching did not increase along with the natural increase in fees, so they feel it like a loss.

  73. 73
    jl says:

    For the whiners, can you not see what good these Burns crisis updates have done? Now we have national security expert conference war stories! Probably top secret, but I want to know which of these hacks we see on the TV have dandruff, and how do they hides the food spots on their ties.

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m guessing no one will buy it.

  75. 75
    nutella says:

    @jl:

    From what I have read and seen in youtube clips, the sheriff has been sending signals that he is really pissed and does not want these folks to get away with this stunt. Which, if his department is so small, I can understand why.

    Yes, as would any law officer who knows that respect for the rule of law is necessary for him to be able to ensure public safety.

    It’s all very amusing now to point and laugh at these clowns and I hope they are chastened, at least a little bit, by knowing that most of citizenry, the county sheriff, and the Mormon church all judge them to be completely wrong and fairly pathetic.

    But given that there are plenty more armed criminal gangs calling themselves militias all over the country, this particular gang has got to be nailed to the wall (figuratively!) by the criminal justice system. If you check out the useful example somebody mentioned earlier of sovereign citizens who staged a standoff with the feds in 2007, they were sentenced to over 30 years. I don’t know what a reasonable sentence would be for the Bundy gang but it needs to be long enough to make the point to them and the other ‘militias’ that crimes will be punished.

  76. 76
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It’s just a story for the jury to latch on to. Hell, the right prosecutor might just shrug and say “Works for me.”

  77. 77
    Anne Laurie says:

    @NonyNony: This is an excellent summary. Mind if I steal it for a future front-page post?

  78. 78
    amk says:

    @Baud: Not even prezzy yet and already abusing your power? tsk, tsk, tsk.

  79. 79
    debbie says:

    @NonyNony:

    Jeez, if you’ve lost Alex Jones…

  80. 80
    Honus says:

    @Schlemazel: I like “Vanilla ISIS” Or ‘y’all queda”

  81. 81
    catclub says:

    @nutella:

    I suspect that they get even more furious when they know that those privileges they used to have were totally un-deserved by them and unfair to everyone else.

    I am not so sure they know.

    I heard on NPR a hidden brain episode where they claimed that hierarchical thinking comes before egalitarian thinking. Given the evidence that chimps and dogs and toddlers can recognize ‘not fair’
    VERY early. I was not convinced.

    (in hierarchical thinking they claimed that people are more accepting of inequality.)

  82. 82
    Honus says:

    @NonyNony: trouble is with civil war reenactors it the opposite of the actual war. There’s usually eight or ten confederates for each Union soldier.

  83. 83
    PurpleGirl says:

    @NonyNony: Not gonna join the SCA. It requires too much historical accuracy and research. Also, no big honking guns and historically correct bows and arrows ain’t like contemporary ones (which look like torture devices).

  84. 84
    ThresherK (GPad) says:

    @Mnemosyne: “He’s surrounded by men who play with toy ponies; he’s in the least amount of danger possible!”

    Really, it never gets old. If this show were as popular as it ought to be the ridicule would be overwhelming.

  85. 85
    ThresherK (GPad) says:

    @Honus: It’s a twisted version of “Who wants to play Judas or Pontius Pilate at the Catholic school play?”

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ThresherK (GPad): The bad guys have the best lines in any play.

  87. 87
    Honus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: “it didn’t cost nothin’ and it was worth it too”

    Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

  88. 88
    Satby says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You seriously think the wimp would show up?

    Edited to add: of course I was being snarky, not serious.

  89. 89
    Mike J says:

    @The Lodger:

    his argument sounded like pretzel logic to me.

    I would love to tour the southland in a traveling minstrel show.

  90. 90
    catclub says:

    Police so far haven’t cordoned off the refuge, about 30 miles southeast of Burns, or taken any other steps against the militants, such as cutting off electricity to the compound.

    I am disapoint.

  91. 91
    Bill_D says:

    @debbie: The stated goals relate more to the overall situation across the rural West, where environmental restrictions are blamed for everything negative that happens to the resource economy.

  92. 92
    Soylent Green says:

    ranchers had a really really sweet deal from the feds until about 1993. Before then, the fees for using BLM land were a fraction of the costs the government spent in keeping the land usable for grazing. (The environmental cost being significant as well) Then they had to start paying something close to the actual cost of keeping the land viable for ranching.

    I don’t think that’s true. The federal government still pays most of the costs of maintaining the public range, which includes putting in roads to access it, wells and stock tanks to water the livestock, fire suppression as needed (it’s needed more in overgrazed areas, where overuse has changed the predominant plant species to more flammable ones), predator control (on behalf of ranchers, the USDA kills tens of thousands of coyotes and other predators each year), and a great many range improvements that improve the sustainability of the forage for future generations of cattle as well as the habitat for wildlife.

    What these welfare ranchers pay has actually fallen with respect to inflation. The current grazing fee of $1.69 per month for each cow and calf pays a small fraction of the services I listed. But when the BLM tries to raise it (i.e., to run the agency like a business), the Bundy Boys squeal like stuck pigs to their local congress critters, most of whom are bought and paid for by the Cattlemen’s Association. So the price never remotely keeps up with costs.

    What these crybabies want is to be free of any and all environmental measures, the right to kill any and all non-cow species they see if they feel like killing something, the right to overgraze and despoil the range and watersheds and to level the forests, just like in the good old days before the hated federal managers stepped in, and they want the millions of acres of public range turned over to their ownership at zero cents per acre. Most significantly, they want these millions of acres to become the property only of themselves, with none of them going to the 99.98 percent of Americans who also own this public land.

  93. 93
    Tim C. says:

    @Soylent Green: Yeah, I’m going to agree with everything you added. I’m going to throw in that I still think they had an even *better* deal prior to 93, but I was a bystander and young at the time so maybe I didn’t get the finer details.

  94. 94
    a different chris says:

    @debbie: Alex Jones is a false-flag operation. Ha! Let’s see him weasel his way out of that one…

  95. 95
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Their purpose for being there was: “to get the logger back to logging, to get the rancher back to ranching, to get the miner back to mining, the farmer back to farming and to jump-start this economy”.

    And to ensure that happens they will destroy the one feature that is bringing money to the town.

    assisting the people of Harney County in claiming and using their rights, then we will go home.

    So they will leave when the locals prove how free they are by their obedience to militia orders.

  96. 96
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    =sigh=

    So this will be the case that gets us to re-think mandatory minimum sentencing. I mean, yay if it does (mandatory minimums need to be shitcanned ASAP), but funny how it’s only when it affects white conservatives that it’s a bad thing.

  97. 97
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Here’s a pretty good Vox retrospective of the Ruby Ridge and Waco standoffs, and how they and the Oklahoma City bombing affected public opinion and doctrine in dealing with these incidents.

    The most striking fact I didn’t know is that public opinion turned against the government’s tactics at Waco only as a consequence of the OKC bombing–which was actually one of the things McVeigh was trying to accomplish.

    It also mentions the Montana Freemen standoff, which ended peacefully, and muses about whether this is an actual improvement in doctrine or just knuckling under to terrorists. I tend to believe more the former, but the refusal to even arrest anybody involved in the Cliven Bundy standoff is weird.

  98. 98
    Pencilneck says:

    @Tim C.:

    Both are right.

    BLM land has always been very highly subsidized for resource use and extraction and was really federal policy for 150 years. See federal Mining law which gives away all hard rock minerals on public lands for around $2 an acre.

    But things did change a bit in the 90s; after public pressure, BLM finally started implementing the wonderfully named FLPMA – Federal Land Practices and Management Act. FLPMA requires BLM to prepare plans that sustainably manage resources. These plans established creek buffer zones and erosion control requirements on lessees. The lessees, as we can see, are not happy with not being able to destroy public land.

    Also keep in mind that the USDA pays these ranchers to conserve soil and many users of public land, like the Freemen, still take advantage of these programs. So the Bundys just don’t like filling out forms.

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